Marilyn Maye
(© Matthew Peake)
Marilyn Maye
(© Matthew Peake)
"Everything Old is New Again," sings Marilyn Maye in her not-to-be-missed new show It's Maye In May! at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, and truer lyrics were never sung. The 83-year-old artist sings with a youthfulness and vibrancy that puts performers half her age to shame.

Maye performs either full or abbreviated versions of no less than some 30 numbers, which begins appropriately enough with "Young at Heart," and continues with songs by the likes of James Taylor and Randy Newman, and even the witty "Butta Outta Cream" (from the Broadway musical Catch Me if You Can).

Much of the evening consists of wittily constructed, extended medleys delivered in breakneck, swinging style. Just listening to her rollicking version of "Get Me to the Church on Time" will leave you winded, and a jaunty medley of Fats Waller songs would have made the man himself smile.

The cleverness of the set list is indicated by a grouping of rainbow songs that ends with "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie. That song's opening line, "Why are there so many songs about rainbows," garners an appreciative laugh.

Her quick wit, however, compensates for the occasional misstep. Stumbling on the lyrics of "It Might as Well Be Spring," she instantly recovered by singing this impromptu suggestion from an audience member: "I'm as jumpy as a gentile in the Catskills..."

None of this is to imply that Maye sacrifices emotion. Such numbers as "My Ideal" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" resonate with a poignancy that is at once innocent and world-weary. And there are few singers who could segue from Sondheim's acidic "I'm Still Here" to Jerry Herman's buoyant "It's Today" with such casual ease.