The names Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller may not be familiar, but you will know many of the timeless songs they wrote during the 1950s and 1960s.
Among their most well-known pieces are “Stand By Me,” “Love Potion #9” and “On Broadway,” as well as novelty songs “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown.” Others you will likely recognize include “Ruby Baby,” “Poison Ivy” and “Spanish Harlem.”
Smokey Joe’s Café is a revue of the music of the prolific Lieber and Stoller writing team. Filled with rock ’n’ roll as well as rhythm and blues, you’ll also pick up on a few hints of country and even Vaudeville in the 39 songs presented by eight highly talented SummerTide Theatre performers.
Since the entire production is a collection of songs with no dialogue, you might expect to sit through a concert, politely applauding after each number. But rest assured, this is a highly entertaining show. Each song is a production within itself, thanks to clever and well-executed staging and/or choreography.
You’ll find yourself applauding enthusiastically and even cheering throughout the performance, especially following the bring-down-the-house “I’m a Woman” that highlights each of the ladies and then brings it home as they join together for a powerful final refrain.
Capitalizing on that momentum, the full ensemble immediately follows up with a high-energy “Jailhouse Rock” song and dance sequence. It’s almost impossible for audience members to keep from dancing then and many other times during the 90 minutes of entertainment.
There’s just not enough room in this blog to share all the wonderful moments of song and dance, melancholy and laughter. So do yourself a favor—get your tickets today for Smokey Joe’s Café.
Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings through June 29 at 8 p.m. at the George C. Meyer Performing Arts Center, 2022 W. 2nd St., Gulf Shores. Tickets may be purchased online at SummerTide.org, or by calling 251-968-6721; adults $18, children under 12 $12, groups of 10 or more $12 each.
Each June for nine years, students and recent graduates of University of Alabama have brought their gift of musical theater to Pleasure Island. Each year it has been a must-see experience, and this year’s Smokey Joe’s Café continues their string of smash hits.
If you haven’t made your summer beach plans yet, don’t miss out! Consider staying at any of our vacation rental condos or houses in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan (Alabama) or Perdido Key (Florida). But book now before your favorite property is taken!
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