Marilyn Maye’s return to the Metropolitan Room was like a camp reunion for the saloon set. Saloons, she informed the crowd already familiar with her patter, are otherwise called “upholstered sewers.” This chanteuse, elegant in her mid-80’s in a blond bouffant, sang tunes suggested by her “regulars,” many of whom she addressed from the stage by first name: “Who requested this?” she asked amiably on the night I caught her act. “You? Okay, now you’re hearing it.”
Greeting fans downstairs at the Met Room, next to a table piled high with CDs for sale, Maye was equally giving and energetic. One well-wisher had an old lp, “A Taste of Sherry,” with a photo of Marilyn, a young brunette in a classic ‘50’s hairdo. “That’s me in a Jewish flip,” she quipped, not missing a beat.