A bit more than 20 years ago I saw the Broadway tour of Smokey Joe’s Cafe and fell in love with it instantly. The incredible song catalogue of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller makes it one of the few jukebox musicals I admire. They don’t try to twist themselves in knots with a framework and back story, they just lay out the songs one after another in a period world of the music. You’ve heard most of these goodies even if you didn’t know the song writing team behind them. As far as I am concerned if Jerry Leiber can create the lyric “you’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion” and Mike Stoller can create the stunning music behind “I Who Have Nothing” these guys demand a listen.
The current #SmokeyJoesCafe production is comfortably ensconced in Stage 42 and you should get tickets to see it immediately. I mean immediately. We had such a great time at the show, each and every cast member deserves mention. Dwayne Cooper. Emma Degerstedt. John Edwards. Dionne D. Figgins. Nicole Vanessa Ortiz. Kyle Taylor Parker. Jelani Remy. Max Sangerman. And I’m sure that Alysha Umphress is equally skilled but we saw the show with standby and exceptionally talented Antoinette Comer. See this show and you’ll leave smiling for a week!
TOMORROW: a hopping review!