1994 New York City: Long before American Idol hit the airwaves, the way to a recording contract was the Open Mic Circuit at the nightclubs in Manhattan. From Café Wah to Chaz and Wilson’s to Nell’s, the Circuit is jammed with talented singers—until one young woman begins to separate herself from the rest. Meet Monique “Paris” Stevens. She creates buzz with her melodic flow and builds a large following wherever she shows up to sing. Moonlight Over Paris is Monique’s story, a Brooklynite by way of Chicago who aspires to become a professional singer and recording artist. By day she pays the bills working for a financial services company and is thriving there as well. Her boss, Bill Russell, is grooming her for a big managerial position with the main office; she would be the first African American and woman to do so, which would be ground breaking, to say the least. Bill wants her to get the position he never could. Monique will hear none of it because she is focused on singing. Bill demeans her efforts, telling her, “Those singers are a dime a dozen, you can tell by how many come out for the Open Mic contests.” Meanwhile, the relationship with her “girlfriend” Donna Owens is anything but cordial. Donna, a clothing designer with her own boutique, isn’t happy with just ruining her own business but has in mind to ruin any chance of Monique reaching her goal. When Monique discovers the level of hate Donna has for her, the outcome is tragic. Maurice Stevens—Monique’s father, biggest supporter, and best friend—dies unexpectedly, sending her world into a tailspin. The multiple tragedies are more than she can take. But in many tragedies come blessings, thusly Moonlight Over Paris is founded.
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