On Stage Presents ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ – The Songs of Leiber & Stoller

Press release from On Stage

Broadway’s Longest-Running Musical Revue Features 40 Fabulous Songs

MONROE, Ga. – On Stage, Monroe’s community theater, presents “Smokey Joe’s Café,” a rollicking musical revue showcasing 40 of the greatest songs of the past century, in eight performances from Feb. 22 to March 10.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 23, and March 1, 2, 8 and 9. Sunday matinees are March 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available beginning Feb. 8 at www.onstagewalton.org or at Carmichael’s Drug, 150 MLK Blvd. in Monroe. 

The songs were written by the legendary team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and range from pop standards to rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues, including such show-stopping classics as “On Broadway,” “Stand by Me,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown.” 

Director Marc Hammes has assembled a talented cast of nine and three guest performers who will be accompanied by a live band. “I fell in love with the musical the first time I heard it,” he says. “The nostalgia and memories that the music brings back and having a hot live band make this show an instant draw.”

  Vocalist Wesley Henson says, “The best part of the show is that there is something for all ages: rock ‘n’ roll, pop, jazz, R&B … the works! If you love the ‘50s and ‘60s, this show is for you.”

Vocalist Rachel Wells says, “This is one of the most talented casts I have ever worked with. Every night I leave rehearsal I am just amazed at what they can do.”

The musical is renowned for invoking happy memories for audience members as they experience the hits of their youth. “If you listen and watch closely, you will see a story emerge through the music of young people as they go through life and grow into adulthood,” Hammes says.

The original musical opened on Broadway in 1995 and ran for 2,036 performances, making it the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. The original Broadway cast recording, “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Lieber and Stoller,” won a Grammy award in 1996.

ABOUT ON STAGE: Organized as Onstage Walton in 1971 “to bring a little culture to our town,” the theater moved in 1975 to the current On Stage Playhouse in the old Monroe Primitive Baptist Church, built in 1910.  On Stage holds summer workshops for adults and youths. The theater helps support a 501c3 organization. For more information: www.onstagewalton.org. 

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