Onstage: Smokey Joe's Cafe

Smokey Joe's Cafe, making waves on the Showboat Majestic through June 20, was a Broadway hit in 1995 and beyond. That's because it features the music of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two guys who virtually invented Rock & Roll back in the 1950s.

Some people use the term “jukebox musicals” with a disdainful tone and a curled lip. The truth is that a good jukebox can be a wonderful thing: It really depends on who’s pushing the buttons and what they’re playing.

Smokey Joe's Cafe, which is making waves on the Showboat Majestic, was a Broadway hit in 1995 and beyond (it ran for 2,036 performances, so a lot of people liked it). That’s because it features the music of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two guys who virtually invented Rock & Roll back in the 1950s. It’s all about the singing and its classic tunes — nearly 40 of them, such as “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Hound Dog,” “Kansas City,” “Poison Ivy” and “On Broadway” — make this show a good buy for your entertainment dollar.

The cast, directed by Dan Doerger, includes Deondra Means, Terrence Gaither and R. DeAndre Smith (pictured).

Smokey Joe's Cafe runs through June 20. Tickets are $16-$17.

Get show and venue details and buy tickets here.

Rick Pender

RICK PENDER has written about theater for CityBeat since its first issues in 1994. Before that he wrote for EveryBody’s News. From 1998 to 2006 he was CityBeat’s arts & entertainment editor. Retired from a long career in public relations, he’s still a local arts fan, providing readers (and public radio listeners)...
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