Judi Mark: Laughing Through Life

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Judi Mark

Laughing Through Life

Don’t Tell Mama, May 22, 2019

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Judi Mark

Judi Mark got off to a hot start and remained strong during her show, begging the question, Why haven’t we heard more of her over the years? She shared the stories of her career before becoming a dance instructor in a worthwhile show that charts the trajectory of a female performer through the 1980s and ’90s.

Sleazy cruise-line agents, sleazy band directors, and the constant pressure to prove oneself in a profession where the requirements shift all endlessly blocked her path. Between Miami Vice and Manhattan, she seemed to always be on the cusp of a big break. Ultimately, though, her stories provided the context for how she ended up on the stage she was on today, her songs and dance moves made for easy and interesting listening and viewing.

My favorite of her songs was “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Gene Lees). Mark’s somewhat melancholy treatment of the lyric “have found with you the meaning of existence oh, my love” was especially moving. However, she was mostly on the quirky side and liked to be a little sarcastic and a touch witty rather than serious; for example, singing a number of comedic songs including “Comedy Tonight” (Stephen Sondheim).

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The cheekiest moment of all came when she described a suitor’s promises as resembling the song “Let’s Take a Walk Around the Block.

” But, it showed an aspect of her charm as she continued to balance funny and serious.

She was accompanied by Tex Arnold at the piano.

She’ll reprise her show on June 4.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see StruckChris.com