Famed cabaret singer Marilyn Maye is returning to the McPherson Opera House to perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Famed cabaret singer Marilyn Maye is returning to the McPherson Opera House to perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. This will be her second performance in town, but she will bring a new repertoire for audience members to enjoy, including numbers from jazz to country. “It's a party,” she said of the upcoming show. “There's definitely a connection between me and the audience. They will have a wonderful, happy time when we're together. That's my job, for them to leave the theater happier than when they came in.” It's no doubt that the 84-year-old has the experience to back this statement up. She has performed since the age of 15, appearing on numerous national television shows, performing with various symphonies and theaters, and receiving dozens of awards. Her RCA recording contract consists of seven albums and 34 singles, including the first hit recordings of “Cabaret” and “Step to the Rear.” Her recording of “Too Late Now” was placed in The Arts Council of the Smithsonian Institution's album of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century, according to a press release. She has received numerous honors and awards all over the county. In 2012 she has been awarded the “Outstanding Kansas Citizen of the Year” by The Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City, the “Celebrity of the Year” by The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs for the fourth year in a row, and a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from New York's Cabaret Cares and the Chicago Cabaret Professionals. In January, Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to present her with the “Distinguished Kansan of the Year” award. “It's my life,” she said of performing. “It's my passion. It's what I've been put on this earth to do. It's my joy to be able to do something that brings happiness to other people.” And although she has performed in venues all across the country, the Wichita native enjoys performing in her home state. “I love that,” she said. “That's my home.” Maye said she and her band are looking forward to performing at the McPherson Opera House. “It's such a darling venue,” she said, noting the sound and lighting add to the element. “We want to keep people coming and keep it alive.” For those considering attendance, Maye has one message. “Don't miss it,” she said. “We're only there for one night, so they've got to get out and have a good time.” John Holecek, Opera House executive director, also encourages all to attend the performance. “I booked Marilyn Maye the first time on the basis of her reputation. I’d never heard her live,” Holecek said. “Seeing her perform, though, I was enraptured, enthralled, and enthused. I had never seen or heard anything like it, especially considering she’s 85. Cabaret was a whole new world for me, and I immediately invited her back. “If you are going to see only one show at the Opera House this season, which I hope isn’t the case, come see this one. The one and only thing we can give a woman who’s got everything is a sold-out show. Tickets are $38, $34, $30 and $10 for students. For more information, call 620- 241-1962 or visit mcphersonoperahouse.org.