(Stephen Holden’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/24; via Pam Green.)
As much as any two performers, Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye embody the traditional concept of show business professionalism, in which an entertainer is expected to wow an audience by doing it all. And on Tuesday night, they joined forces for a satisfying evening of upbeat camaraderie and nostalgia at Feinstein’s/54 Below.
Their program, “Summertime Swing,” was an old-fashioned variety show, blending standards with Catskill humor, celebrity impersonations and other vaudevillian shenanigans. Mr. Feinstein alternated on piano with the musical director, Tedd Firth; Sean Smith on bass and Mark McLean on drums kept the tempos and dynamics continuously fluid.
For Mr. Feinstein, doing it all means delivering classic ballads from the American Songbook in a creamy, faraway voice while accompanying himself on rippling piano, then letting loose with impersonations of Louis Armstrong singing “Hello, Dolly!” and Jerry Lee Lewis hollering and banging out “Great Balls of Fire.”