ABOUT THE SHOW:
MaryJo Mundy, the highly acclaimed and beloved cabaret singer and founder of the longest running open mic at the famed Gardenia, hosts a brand-new show that celebrates and fosters musical theatre/cabaret performers while also showcasing her own remarkable talent.
Mundy with co-hosts Alexis Gach and singer/songwriter/producer Hillary Rollins throws a “cabaret party” on-stage along with three guest performers. Whenever possible, one of those guests will be an “emeritus” artist (someone with a long, established cabaret career who will sing but also share their wit and wisdom about a life in this specialized art form); one will be an “up and comer” (a new, young star-of-tomorrow) and one will be a singer/songwriter whose original songs both contrast and compliment the classic cabaret/theatre songs presented by the rest of the line-up.
In addition, each show features “Sing by the Seat of Your Pants” – a single song slot where a surprise guest is chosen from the audience (out of a volunteer lottery) to come up and wow the crowd with their own moment in the spotlight. (Audience members interested in participating in lottery must sign-up before the start of the show and come prepared with charts for a choice of three different tunes in their key.)
But don’t worry – if you don’t win the lottery, or singing solo isn’t your “thing” – all audience members will have a chance to belt their heart out, share the fun, and feel the community love for cabaret when the entire room ends each evening with a rousing Broadway sing-along.
MaryJo Mundy made her musical debut at a church in Minnesota where she got her first standing
ovation at the age of 6. She knew from that moment on that her life had to be about music. She went
on to explore musical theater in high school and college. She moved to Chicago in her 20’s where she began her journey into Cabaret and did her first show and has been hooked on the American Songbook ever since.
Then on to LA she started a night for singers at the Gardenia (originally called Mundy on Tuesdays!) and it has been going strong now for the last 23 years and counting! She also created and produced “NoHo Studio Live” a show where performers recorded a CD in a recording studio with an audience.
She has performed alongside legendary figures, such as Chita Rivera, Julie Wilson, Margaret Whiting and Melissa Manchester. She was part of a choir that sang in Barbra Streisand’s Timeless concerts at the Staples Center after being called her protégé by Mr. Blackwell in an article he wrote for the Tolucan Times. She then released her debut CD “Halfway to Heaven” in 2007 and has also appeared on Lee Lessack’s “In Good Company”, “Christine Lavin & Friends” as well as others. In 2009 she had
the honor of singing at the Opening Ceremonies for the Special Olympics. Beloved for her powerful and striking voice, she also has a sensitive side which is heard on her latest CD “The Fourteenth Confession: Songs of Laura Nyro” released in 2019.
Along with Hillary Rollins and Alexis Gach she is a one of the founding members and hosts of “The Right to Cabaret” a variety show that had a sold out run in Los Angeles up till the world shut
down…and is excited to be making her New York debut in this fun and rousing show!
“She’s petite and passionate, with a great big voice that can reach the last row of the balcony and at the same time make your heartstrings go pitter-patter…. What a memorable show! The CD – what a treasure, like the gal herself!”
– Don Grigware
“This little dynamo can sing anything…She is truly a physical, flesh & blood, instrument for which she is a conduit of raw, pure, music.”
– Gilmore Rizzo
“One of the best set of pipes in cabaret.”
– Les Traub
“A bit of Blossom Dearie with your very own twist of preciousness that hits, blasts and struts right into that solar plexus and wishes someone had a hand on my leg under the table in a dark secluded space in a little hidden rendezvous. You came out of nowhere, yet you have a very slender Mildred Bailey kind of Lee Wiley intimacy that musicians love…and I love you too Lady Mundy.”
– Lady Haig
“MaryJo Mundy stands only 4-foot-7, but what a wallop she packs on stage!”
– Elliot Zweibach
One of my greatest passions in life is music. I am a singer. But more than that, I’m also a fan of other singers. The passion others share with me lights me up from the inside out. When I moved to LA from Chicago it’s a stark reality that there aren’t many places for singers to go and just sing, with live musicians, in a supportive environment. I wanted to change that.
The biggest obstacle for an open mic for singers is that either the musicianship is subpar, or a track, or karaoke, or the musicians are great, but it’s cost prohibitive and it never lasts. The LA music scene is littered with great little music nights people remember fondly that folded fairly quickly.
I created “Mundy on Tuesdays!” at The Gardenia with the idea that singers would perform with some of the best piano players in the business, and at the start I paid for most of that to happen. I made sure a musician got paid, and got word out through my channels that there was a professional mic, where real singers could work on cabaret, contemporary music, whatever, in an environment of support. But I could not pay for that forever, or even for long.
My vision however was that if you created this environment, singers would pay a reasonable cover charge when they saw the value in plying their craft, practicing, in a real club. They did. If you pushed for real singers, regular audience members would attend, they did. And, in creating this network, many musicians would play there for reasonable fees, because the networking would lead to more jobs, it did. Any many of the performers booked their gigs at the Gardenia which helped sustain the club as well.