With 39 pop songs, you can't go wrong with 'Smokey Joe'

Photos by Sam Bauman/Nevada AppealDomenic Procaccino and Karen Chandler sing out while the rest of the show, from left, Andie Anderson, director Tony DeGeiso, Steve Myer and Rich Garret stand by.

Photos by Sam Bauman/Nevada AppealDomenic Procaccino and Karen Chandler sing out while the rest of the show, from left, Andie Anderson, director Tony DeGeiso, Steve Myer and Rich Garret stand by.

The musical "Smokey Joe's Cafe" played for 14 years on Broadway and it has been performed in everything from a Broadway theater to a small-town shoebox to Reno casinos. It has, and continues to enjoy great success with audiences no matter where the venue.

And why not? It includes 39 songs by the team of Jerome "Jerry" Leiber and Michael "Mike" Stoller.

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" made its theatrical debut in 1994 in Los Angeles. The show opened on Broadway on March 2, 1995, at the Virginia Theatre. The first London production was in 1996 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The New York production closed on Jan. 16, 2000, after 2,036 performances, making "Smokey Joe's Cafe" the longest running musical revue in Broadway history. The final performance was filmed, and released on DVD in 2001.

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" is a musical theatrical revue showcasing 39 pop standards, including rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues songs written by songwriters Leiber and Stoller. The range of musical subjects is awesome " from "Charlie Brown"" to "Jailhouse Rock," which helped propel Elvis to mega-stardom.

The musical was nominated for seven Tony Awards.

Throughout its run, the cast included special appearances by a variety of popular recording artists, including Gladys Knight, Gloria Gaynor and Rick Springfield.

Which brings us naturally to the local cast, all veterans of local stages and shows. The cast includes Susan Sonnemaker, Rich Garrett, Andy Sonnemaker, Karen Chandler, Steven Meyer, Therese Curatolo, Domenic Procaccini II and Andie Anderson " names familiar to local theater-goers. The production is directed by Tony DeGeiso with musical direction by cast member Susan Sonnemaker.

We caught up with the "Joe" cast at the outdoor dining area of Adele's on Carson Street, where diners were given a 30-minute preview of the show. The guests loved the show and so will audiences this weekend at the Outdoor Stage of the Brewery in the parking lot of Performance Hall. Refreshments will be available for those who'll enjoy the singing and acting but need a little sustenance.

And why not?

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