VERO BEACH — Riverside Theatre, led by Producing Artistic Director Allen D. Cornell and Managing Director Jon R. Moses, present one of Broadway’s longest-running jukebox musicals, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”. Sponsored by Linda and Mel Teetz and Riverside Theatre’s Patron Producers Group, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” performs on the Stark Stage from Oct. 23 until Nov. 11, 2018.
One of Broadway’s longest-running hits, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is the rocking revue that will have you listening to the classics “Jailhouse Rock,” “Stand By Me,” “Yakety Yak,” “Hound Dog,” “On Broadway,” “Spanish Harlem” and many, many more. A celebration of legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is a fun-filled night of Rock n’ Roll.
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met in Los Angeles in 1950 at a music store where Leiber worked and Stoller frequented. Surprised to find a shared love of rhythm and blues, they began writing songs and found immediate success with recordings by Charles Brown and Big Mama Thornton. When Elvis Presley heard one of these early records, he decided to record and showcase “Hound Dog” on various television shows. This would link Leiber and Stoller and Elvis forever.
They continued to write more hits for Elvis including the title songs for three of his movies—“Loving You”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and “King Creole” —as well as the rock and roll Christmas song, “Santa Claus Is Back in Town,” for his first Christmas album. In the early sixties, Leiber and Stoller produced a number of hits for The Drifters, The Coasters, Peggy Lee, and others. In a span of 40 years they wrote hundreds of songs with over 75 reaching top-ten status on the music charts.
In 1994, Stephen Helper, Jack Viertel, and Otis Sallid, created a revue showcasing the songs of Leiber and Stoller called Smokey Joe’s Café. The format had no dialog and no unifying theme, but presented 39 of their songs sung by members of the cast in various combinations. After its world premiere in Los Angles in Nov. 1994, it opened on Broadway on Mar. 2, 1995 and closed on Jan. 16, 2000, after 2,036 performances.
The Broadway production, directed by Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks, would star many special artists throughout its run including: Ben E. King, Pam Tillis, Gladys Knight, Tony Orlando, Lou Rawls, Gloria Gaynor, and Rick Springfield. A production is currently playing Off-Broadway at Stage 42 in New York City.
Riverside’s production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe is directed and choreographed by DJ Salisbury and stars Schyler Conaway, Ian Coulter-Buford, Alison Cusano, André Jordan, Gabriel Mudd, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Jayne Trinette, Khalifa White and Jamari Johnson Williams.
Smokey Joe’s Cafe performs Oct. 23 until Nov. 11, 2018 on the Stark Stage at Riverside Theatre. Tickets start at $35. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 772-231-6990 or online at www.riversidetheatre.com.
Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 8p.m.; with matinees on Wednesdays, select Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2p.m.
The 2018 to 2019 season also includes: “Evita”, “The Last Romance”, “My Fair Lady” and “Legally Blonde” on the Stark Stage and “Next To Normal” and “Ghost Writer” on the Waxlax Stage.
The 2018 to 2019 Season is sponsored by: Wilmington Trust, Dale Sorensen Real Estate, The O’Haire Group – Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Northern Trust, Indian River Press Journal, Marine Bank & Trust, Vatland Honda, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Nelson Morgan Wealth Management – Merrill Lynch, The Jungle Club, Rehmann, Vero Beachside News and Treasure & Space Coast Radio.
About Riverside Theatre:
Riverside Theatre is located at 3250 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963. Riverside Theatre programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Riverside Theatre is a member of the Cultural Council of Indian River County, the Indian River Chamber of Commerce, and the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce.
This article was distributed through Treasure Coast Business, a news service for the readers and advertisers of Indian River Magazine.