Marilyn Maye Sings Jerry Herman With Pizzazz

Categories: Theater


Cabaret queen Marilyn Maye has brought her luscious pipes to Feinstein's at the Regency for The Best of Times Is Now! a lovely tribute to Jerry Herman, who wrote all those great diva songs for and about Dolly, Mame, Mabel, and Albin.

Whenever there's a Herman show, you can be guaranteed at least one number about how the title lady is looking swell -- so swell she's coaxing the husk right off of the corn as "the dingy curtains seem a little brighter."

Naturally, Maye does those tunes, but she also pauses for the heartbreakers, the romantic ballads, and the bittersweet numbers of longing and regret.

In addition to the obvious classics, she gives us samples from more esoteric shows like The Grand Tour, Dear World, and Milk and Honey.

A nice twist has her trilling the romantically unromantic "I Won't Send Roses" from Mack and Mabel, but making it "He Won't Send Roses" and doing it from Mabel's point of view.

She sings without artifice, going for vocal clarity and simple truths.

Jerry obviously approves.

He did send roses for Maye's opening night last night, and they sat there on the piano as a big floral validation.

Hello, Marilyn!

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Please, please, please - somebody again record this wonderful artist. It's been a long time since there was a new Marilyn Maye ablum and it is certainly overdue. This would be the perfect performance for a "live" album. 

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

"Milk & Honey" was the first Broadway show album  I bought.

Molly Picon is wonderfully funny in her numbers, while the title song has a contrapuntal melody line and lyric that build to a huge finish. This counterpoint lyrics are still pertinent today:

"How about the border when the Syrians attack?How about the Arab with the rifle in your back?"

The ballads are among the best he wrote (if a bit operetta-ish) and there's a number called "But That Was Yesterday" that begins sunnily and then develops a drive that anticipates what Ethan Mordden calls his "Big Lady" numbers.


Marilyn sings the title song and also the song "Shalom."


I wish I could afford this!! Maybe it'll be on PBS some day.


A lot of lovin' for Jerry Herman lately! Well deserved