photo mad crooning away



B   I   O   G   R   A   P   H   Y


MAD MEL is a classically trained vocalist who sings in seven languages and produces and writes shows for herself and other performers. She captivates the audience with her angelic yet powerful voice, graceful improvisational dance, uninhibited antics and refreshing humour. Mel grew up in a family of professional entertainers following in the footsteps of her grandmother The Singing Nightingale, her uncle actor Paul Maxwell and her mother volcalist Hilda Popovich. Mel has worked in television, film, video, radio and theatre.

She began her career at the age of five on the stage of the University of Maryland in a two-person one-act play. She has been performing and studying consistently since then in the fields of acting (improv and scripted), dance (African, jazz, tap, country, folk, modern and improvisation), voice (operatically trained - three-octave range - arias, jazz, torch, Broadway, blues, rock, country and improvisational). She is also a producer, director, choreographer, writer, lyricist and musician working in stage and television including comedy characters.

She was a member of the Washington, D.C. based improvisation company S.T.A.R., being one of the only members to improvise songs based on audience suggestion. Moving to Boston, she continued writing music and lyrics while starring as Kay in Gershwin's musical "Oh Kay", one of the Andrew Sisters in "Star Spangled Review", and Virginia/Victor in the Pixie Theatre production of "Fright Night". Mad Mel was featured as the psycho Wendy in the film "Kill Her" which can be seen on some ABC television networks>


her current production "Swing Along With Mel" is a one-woman cabaret/vaudeville show written, produced and directed by Mad Mel which consists of the torch and swing songs from 1900-1950 sung in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Yiddish and Russian. It includes World War I & II medleys, Broadway tunes, novelty songs, original vaudeville skits with character changes (duets between "myself and I"), theme medleys, and impromptu comedy and dance. Her show, which is presented in an audience-interactive style, is flavored with guese appearances from her menagerie of animal puppets including the spectacular Chimpee and Monk. Mel also wrote the musical arrangements and employed the award winning Matt King to record the piano parts.

She toured the east coast with her show "Swing Along With Mel", including annual engagements on Martha's Vineyard, before relocating to Los Angeles. She continued to tour the West Coast extensively throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties as well as Carmel and San Francisco including Pasadena Civic Center, Malibu Library, various jazz and cabaret clubs, professional organizations and parties.

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"Battle of the Bands" featured Mad Mel as three female vocalists (along with her backup band):   Suzanna Swing and the Floating Notes, Tammy Whynot and the Country Hams, and Holly Davidson and the Bikers singing, respectively, jazz, country and rock. Her back up band included Joel Diamond a wonderful pianist who toured with the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Fracussi former guitarist and vocalist of The Earls, Frankie Canino a bassist on Broadway and Mike Riccardi an accomplished rock drummer who dedicates time teaching drums to underpriveleged boys. Mel wrote and produced the show.

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She wrote, directed and choreographed shows in New York City with her group "The Born Again Virgins", a performance trio including herself. They presented mini-vaudevillian style musical numbers. These comedic short stories were portrayed through the original song lyrics, props, choreography, acting, and costume and character changes on stage. A few rock cover tunes were also employed along with a turn of the century song and an aria from Don Giovani. Their performances shared a definite social message with their audiences of "Don't Forget About Love!" These shows were held in the finest discos and theatres in the Big Apple.

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chemistry song trio


Mad mel began her improv career in 1980 when she joined S.T.A.R. (Sylvia Toone Actor's Repetoire). She worked as a professional member for two years in Washington, D.C.   Although S.T.A.R. was a comedy troupe, for six months they worked with the theme of nuclear war. (At this time Mel was working on Capital Hill lobbying for the hispanic civil rights organization L.U.L.A.C. regarding nuclear weapons with the heads of the Pentagon.) The actors had a very solid training background in dramatic as well as comedic improv acting. The comedy training coming out of dramatic emotional situations. Mad was one of only three actors who weekly sang solo improvised songs in various rhythm/genres based on spontaneous audience suggestion. It was at this time that she seriously began writing songs - both music and lyrics. She has written an array of rock, jazz, country and R&B songs. Learning the composition of plays on her feet she also began a career writing stage show for herself and other professional entertainers in New York City. Mel also studied and performs improvisational dance combining her studies of African, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Psychedelic and Ballet training. She also studied improv in a special invitation-only Arena Stage summer workshop, as well as a master class with David Shepard of Second City. She continues to use her improv skills in her television work on her production "Mad Mel's Madhouse" where she teaches children the art of improv as well as community assistance projects, alternative career choices, self-empowerment and joys of cultural diversity. She also applies her improv training in her work as director and comedienne on the "Godess Galactica Show". She has created several on-going comedy characters writing and performing her own monologues.  Mad also teaches acting and voice training as well.

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Mad Mel has performed all over the United States in theatres, clubs, discos, cabarets, civic centers, restaurants, universities, schools, libraries, retirement establishments, hospitals, private parties, racetracs, festivals, state fairs, state parks, malls, and art fairs. Some of the clubs and theatres she has appeared at in New York City with her various shows (singing jazz, blues, country, rock or opera) include:   South Street Seaport's Front Street Restaurant, Club M.K., Zone d.k., The Tunnel, Pyramid Club, Theatre For The New City, Rosie O'Grady's, O'Lunneys, London Terrace Pub, Don't Tell Mama, Eighty-Eights, Honeysuckle, China Club, Dan Lynch, Manny's Car Wash, Blondies, Kenney's Castaways; and the Cookoo's Nest and White Owl in the Poconos. She appeared at the University of Maryland, the Pasadena Civic Center with her one-woman show, annual appearances on Martha's Vineyard, and the Carmel Foundation in California.

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Mad Mel began her career as a writer at a very early age. When she was eight years old she wrote her first poem "The Awakening Desert". Before that time she created cards for the family with pictures, 3-D collage and writing. In high school she began writing short stories with twists at the end and won best in her ninth grade class for her composition of what freedom meant to her - a tale of a long lost love in a kitty's body who saves her from an abusive family with his love transcending time and space. She began writing songs - music and lyrics wehn she was a member of S.T.A.R. improv company - being one of only three members to make up songs on the spot. She has written many songs in various genres - jazz, country, rock, R&, and Broadway for herself as well as lyrics for television pilots.

She has written, directed and produced many stage shows for herself and others including many different versions for the Born Again Virgins. These included original songs of her own; choreography and character work; dance movements; directing and producing in New York City. These shows were performed at the famous discos and theatres. She wrote shows for Anthony Sicusso in New York; anti-drug comedic skits which were performed in the NYC ghetto high schools; comedy character skits for television; and an anti-smoking song for a state children's campaign. She has directed stage productions and performances and produces her own television shows. She wrote, directed and starred in her own one-woman, audience interactive, cabaret show which she produced.

She toured the East Coast for three years hitting D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York City, Boston, New Jersey and Martha's Vineyard. She also did the musical arrangements herself working with pianist Matt King. She wrote several blues tunes which she sang in well known clubs in New York such as Manny's Car Wash, Blondies and the China Club. She also writes comedic songs and skits for her television characters Kitty Yum-Yum, Windy Wanda and Olga From Idaho.

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She is currently in Nashville, Tennessee working on several studio recording projects including her C.D. "Swing Along With Mel" and "Latin Flames" (Spanish, English & Portuguese).    She is the creator and producer of "Mad Mel's Madhouse" a children's educational comedy show.   Mel is also the director of   "Godess Galactica" a spiritually oriented comedy show. She has created and written monologues for her own comedy characters appearing on Godess Galactica including   Kitty Yum-Yum a royal British writer,   Windy Wanda a near-sighted rodeo rider, and   Olga From Idaho a self-taught potato farmer.    Mel also writes and performs some of her original songs in her shows.

Mad Mel is mounting a new stage production incorporating some of the songs from her show "Swing Along With Mel". She will be adding some arias, operettas, gypsy, jazz and fun Italian/American songs. She is also learning to speak Mandarin and will soon be adding Chinese to her song repetoire.

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Mad Mel has dedicated her life to helping the community and the planet with her many productions. They all have social messages and promote international unity and love for humanity. She has worked on Capital Hill for civil rights and has written many independent productions, including comedy shows and original songs, for herself and other performers. Several of these projects have targeted children in anti-drug and anti-smoking campaigns.

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