Entertainment, Features, New York

Smokey Joe’s Café: A High-Energy Musical Romp

July 26, 2018

By Dr. Leonard Golubchick, LaborPress Entertainment Editor

Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller makes a triumphant return as the music of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller rocks the house. The jukebox musical, at Stage 42, returns to the Great White Way after its five-year run in the 1990s.

This hour and half show gives the audience the thrill of show-stopping and toe-tapping numbers like “On Broadway,” “Love Potion Number 9,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Stand by Me,” “Hound Dog,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Yakety-Yak,” “Charlie Brown,” “Along Came Jones,” “I’m a Woman,” and “Poison Ivy.” These songs were made hits in the 1950s and 1960s by such outstanding artists as Ben E. King, Elvis Presley, the Drifters, and the Coasters, and were also covered by Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, and more recently, bachata singer Prince Royce.

Joshua Bergasse does an amazing job directing and choreographing a talented cast of nine young performers. The set, by Beowulf Boritt, places the audience in Smokey Joe’s Café with perfection, and the costumes, by Alejo Vietti, enable the audience to easily identify with the era the songs come from.

Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller is a remarkable tuneful funfest for the entire family.

 

July 26, 2018

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