Songs of Leiber and Stoller return to Eldorado Showroom | NevadaAppeal.com

Songs of Leiber and Stoller return to Eldorado Showroom

by Sam Bauman

They’re playing a fun look back at music of the ’50s and ’60s at Reno’s Eldorado Showroom through Sept. 4. It’s a return engagement of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller.”

Yeah, they’re the guys who wrote “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Stand By Me,” “On Broadway” and “Jailhouse Rock.” These songs are the work of a single song-writing team: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It may curl some of the graying hair around here to catch these once-pop rock hits, but that was our life, and it’s kind of fun to relive it. I remember hearing “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse” in G.I. bars around Japan, and hearing them again in the Eldorado Showroom as the actors turned back the clock was wonderful.

It was a revolution in popular music that was born of the 45 rpm disc and the jukebox. The hits continued from there: “Charlie Brown,” “Loving You,” “Treat Me Nice,” “Kansas City” and countless others. “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is about the music that defines America.

Though usually performed strictly as a musical revue, this production of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is something new, using characters to tell a timeless story of the multicultural urban life.

The audience will meet several characters – through Leiber and Stoller’s fun songs – as they grow from innocence to experience, beginning as exuberant high-school students blowing off steam and ending as sadder-but-wiser adults.

Tickets for “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” start at $30.95 – cheap when you consider the nostalgia you get out of the show. Call the Eldorado at (800) 648-5966 or 786-5700 . Tell ’em Sam sent you.

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GUITAR MASTER IN TOWN

National Fingerpicking Champion Chris Proctor plays Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall. The latest of a parade of superb guitarists to play Carson City, Proctor is something special. He has earned a solid reputation as a master of six- and 12-string acoustic guitar. His acclaimed CDs on Flying Fish, Windham Hill, Rounder and Sugarhouse Records embrace classical, blues, jazz, folk, Celtic and pop traditions. One critic called his music “baroque folk.” But he coaxes sounds from his instrument which belie the guitar’s “folk” or “everyman” reputation, raising it to a near-orchestral range.

Proctor is famed in the guitar world as a teacher of teachers. He’s taken part in hundreds of workshops for wannabes. Tickets are $15 general, $12 members, students and seniors. Call 883-1976.

BRICK BASHING ON TAP

How about a brick-bashing attempt? Going for a World-Record Brick-Breaking attempt Saturday at 3 p.m. is Dan Horrigan, attempting to break 600 bricks in 60 seconds. There’s lots more going on at the event from 1-5 p.m. at Nevada Fitness on Fairview Drive to help raise funds for Daniel Morrison, a youth fighting cancer. Wicker Box and Cheaters bands will play as well. One can’t help but wonder where Horrigan is going to get 600 bricks and how he’s going to haul them to the fitness spa. Call 885-1871 and maybe they can explain.

BARBECUE TIME

It’s the 10th annual Great Eldorado Barbecue, Brews and Blues Fest in downtown Reno all day Saturday. It’s $20 per person, but you can probably eat that much barbecue, and then the blues are free. Lots of good bands on hand. See you there. Call 786-5700 for times and talent.

n Contact reporter Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

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