IF YOU GO
What: Omaha Symphony Pops Series: Marilyn Maye Sings the American Songbook
When: Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th and Douglas Streets
Tickets: $19 to $83
Information: omahasymphony.org or 402-342-3560
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Kansas-born cabaret singer Marilyn Maye first performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” almost 50 years ago and so swooned host and audience that Carson gave her an open invitation to perform on his show.
She took it. With 76 appearances, Maye ranked as one of Carson's favorite and most frequent guests, doing for show tunes and jazz standards what Joan Embery did for exotic animals and Don Rickles did for insults.
The 85-year-old singer appears this weekend with the Omaha Symphony, kicking off this season's Pops Series. Recent reviews suggest that time has been good to her. A New York Times reviewer attending a March concert reported that she “has more voice and stamina than most singers half her age.”
A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal called her “pretty much every singer you ever wanted to hear: She has the rhythm and musicianship of a great jazz singer, the projection and personality of a heavyweight Broadway diva, and creates the intimate bond with her audiences that we demand from a cabaret artist.”
This weekend, Maye focuses on the American Songbook, including hits such as “Misty” (popularized by Johnny Mathis) and “Over the Rainbow.”