is a performing songwriter with a background in theatre and comedy. A rust-belt refugee from Northeastern Pennsylvania, she attended college in New York City as a theater major and instantly became a die-hard-with-a-vengeance New Yorker. After graduating she worked in publishing and satisfied her stage habit as a founding member of a small theater company that never made any money and kept her on the verge of burn-out. She later explored sketch-writing, improvisational comedy, stand-up comedy and cabaret.

It was the cabaret and stand-up that sparked her the most and led her to concert-type performance. But it’s a combination of all these elements that makes her stand out on the acoustic music circuit. Performing either as a duo with her husband and producer Paul Guzzone, or with a band, Mary Ellen is known for her high-energy live shows that can be both funny and poignant. A New York radio personality described her as “Tom Waits meets Tracey Ullman.” A fan compared her to Frank Zappa. And it’s been said that, at times, she can be “a little too entertaining.” She has appeared at clubs, theaters and outdoor events either as a featured act or opening for such artists as John Prine, Loudon Wainwright III, Richie Havens, Tom Paxton, John Sebastian, Cheryl Wheeler, Rockapella and The Bacon Brothers.

Mary Ellen has released three albums which have been played by adventurous radio stations around the country. Point of Departure is a synthesis of quirky pop, jazz, blues and lounge. Coney Island Mojo puts a New York spin on some Southern sounds from slinky blues to raucous roadhouse. Bus Stop balances sonic textures with guitar-driven rhythms and gritty acoustic rock. Mary Ellen’s material is stylistically eclectic and it encompasses originals, often written with Paul Guzzone, and covers by everyone from Tom Waits and Patty Larkin to the playwright Lanford Wilson.

Whatever else she pursues, Mary Ellen will always be ready for her big break as an actress. She has already been captured on film and television in brief but scintillating moments as a junkie, a nurse, various types of passersby and – her greatest challenge – a dead body on “Law and Order.”