Published On: Fri, Dec 3rd, 2021

Cabaret legends Maye, King celebrate holiday season at Boca’s Wick Theatre

By: Dale King

Like Santa Claus coming to town, the “Queen and Prince of Cabaret” have also descended upon Boca Raton to provide their own special brand of holiday vocal “gifts” to local audiences during the next several weeks.

The Wick Theatre has announced that Cabaret “Queen” Marilyn Maye, who has been dazzling audiences for more than 70 years, and the dashing “Prince,” Nicolas King, have just kicked off the venue’s Winter Spectacular, which continues through Dec. 19.

“When these two legends pair up, you can expect a command performance,” said Marilynn A. Wick, managing executive producer at the North Federal Highway entertainment spot.

“This show is sure to leave even the ‘Grinchiest’ folks full of joy and hope,” said Wick, describing the performance as a “lavish production filled with glitz and glamour.”

“And as our fans know,” she added, “the forecast always calls for snow flurries during our holiday events.”

Maye last performed at The Wick during its cabaret series earlier this year. In fact, CBS Sunday Morning was in attendance to document the show and interview the famed singer as part of her celebrity-studded 93rd birthday celebration which took place at a sold-out show at The Wick Theatre in April.

“I’m so glad to be out and singing, ya’ know?” Maye told CBS Correspondent Mo Rocca at the time. “I lost a very valuable year for me [due to the coronavirus]. I missed my whole 92nd birthday. But who’s counting!”

She returned to Boca just before Thanksgiving to begin rehearsals for the show that opened this past weekend.

“The audience will love it,” she said in a phone interview from the Wick a few days before opening night. “The show includes a lot of one-on-one. I’m not a big stage person.  The Wick is fantastic, and the scenery is great.”

Maye flew into Boca following a gig at a club in Palm Springs, California. Before that, she spent time singing up a storm in St. Louis.  In October, she was wowing the audiences at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York, where patrons greeted her on opening night with a standing ovation – before the show even started!

The legendary chanteuse opened at 54 Below with a rainbow medley – “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” “Make me Rainbows” and “Golden Rainbow.” She kept the tunes flowing with “Look for the Silver Lining,” the wistful melody penned by Charlie Chaplin, “Smile,” and the uplifting “I Love to See You Smile.”

The tuneful pair of Maye and King are delighting Wick audiences with an array of classic holiday and winter tunes, backed by a live band, conducted by Tedd Firth, a longtime associate of the veteran vocalist. They’ll be joined on stage by some of the best child performers in the area. 

Actually, the dynamic Ms. Maye is considered by many to be the greatest living cabaret performer. “Discovered” by Steve Allen, she sang 76 times on The Tonight Show, for both Allen and Johnny Carson. She holds the record for the most performances on that late-night program by a vocalist.  

With a career that has spanned eight decades, Maye has been a staple of television screens, record players, cabaret rooms and nightclubs as well as theatre stages. No stranger to South Florida, she was a frequent performer at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, which had a special room set aside for cabaret productions.

Maye has a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Jazz Museum, and her recording of “Too Late Now” was chosen by the Smithsonian Institution as one of the 110 Best American compositions of the 20th century. 

Nicolas King also stands on solid ground in the vocal field. Before he was 12 years old, he had already appeared in three Broadway shows: Beauty and the BeastA Thousand Clowns (opposite Tom Selleck) and Hollywood Arms (directed by Hal Prince).

King went on to be featured in a plenitude of TV appearances, including eight years of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon as well as The ViewThe Today Show, two dozen commercials and, like Marilyn Maye, The Tonight Show. He was also Liza Minnelli’s opening act for a decade. 

Now an adult, King continues to tour the country, release albums and win awards, including the coveted Julie Wilson Award at the 2010 Lincoln Center Cabaret Convention.

Tickets for A Winter Spectacular range from $75-$95. They are available at www.thewick.org or by calling the box office at 561-995-2333.  

During A Winter Spectacular, Tavern at The Wick will be featuring a gourmet pre-show menu, crafted by chef William Walden. Menu options will be posted on the website and reservations can be made by calling 561-995-2333.

The Wick Theatre is located at 7901 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton.

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