Review: Marilyn Maye Returned to St. Louis for a Nostalgic Evening of Standards from the Great American Songbook

The Cabaret Project of St. Louis Welcomed Maye for Two Shows in The Ballroom at The Sheldon Concert Hall

By: Feb. 23, 2024
Review: Marilyn Maye Returned to St. Louis for a Nostalgic Evening of Standards from the Great American Songbook
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The Cabaret Project of St. Louis welcomed Marilyn Maye on Thursday for the first of two shows in the upstairs ballroom at The Sheldon Concert Hall. Maye kept the capacity room leaning into her every note as she allowed her audience to reminisce with medleys of standards from the great American songbook. For two hours she sang, mugged, and tossed funny zingers that kept the audience laughing.  

A native Midwesterner, Maye was Johnny Carson’s favorite singer. She told her audience that she had appeared on “The Tonight Show” 76 times, more than any other singer. It seems that while she has had a career that has endured over 6 decades, she is still adding new fans. When she asked how many people were seeing her for the first time about twenty percent of the people in the room raised their hands. Then, she jokingly invited the audience, fans both new and established, to board a bus to New York City and join her at Feinstein's 54 Below. She shared that over 12-days she and her band would be doing 10 shows at 54 Below.  

Maye is a hard-working chanteuse, and her audience showed their appreciation for her efforts by greeting her with a warm standing ovation. Once she got the adoring audience back into their seats, she launched into an eleven-song medley of Cole Porter’s music. At some point through the evening, it seemed as if she looked at, and gestured toward every single person in the crowded ballroom. She has been quoted as saying, “I don’t sing for you, I sing to you,” and she worked all four corners of the room delivering a nostalgic set that captivated her audience. And make no mistake, this was Marilyn Maye’s audience.  

Maye’s unique phrasing and song styling is a nod to the singers of yesteryear. The ballroom audience was buzzing with their cocktails in hand seated at their lighted cabaret tables. It made the space feel very old Vegas. It was as if she was opening the show for Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and maybe for a really lucky audience, Frank Sinatra. Thursday’s show was certainly a sentimental walk down memory lane for much of the St. Louis audience. 

Tickets have been selling fast for Marilyn Maye’s two appearances with The Cabaret Project of St. Louis. Tables were added and you may be lucky enough to snag a remaining seat by clicking on the link below.