Smokey Joe's Celebrates the Era of Rock and Roll
(MACON) “Hound Dog.” “Love Potion #9.” “Stand By Me.” “On Broadway.” “Jailhouse Rock.” These songs provide the soundtrack to a generation of Americans. What’s more, they are the work of a single song-writing team: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. These tunes and many more will have audiences dancing in the aisles when the seven-time Tony Award-nominated, Grammy Award-winning musical, Smokey Joe’s Café hits The Grand Opera House Jan. 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $40 or $35, depending on location, and can be purchased through Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470 or online at thegrand.mercer.edu.
The longest running musical revue in Broadway history, Smokey Joe’s Café won the Grammy Award for Best Musical and was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Director and Best Choreography. Staged in an idealized ’50s setting, this show celebrates the world of first kisses and last dances, hot summer nights and cool midnight struts, blue-light diners and red-hot rock and roll. “We didn’t write songs,” Leiber and Stoller are fond of saying. “We wrote records.” The revolution in popular music that was born of the 45, the juke box, and the car radio sounding off at the drive-in began when Elvis’s recording of Leiber and Stoller’s “Hound Dog” smoked up the charts in 1956. The hits continued from there: “Charlie Brown,” “Loving You,” “Treat Me Nice,” “Kansas City” and countless others – an unprecedented string of Top 40 songs that defined the ’50s and early ’60s. The Coasters, The Drifters, Peggy Lee, and Elvis all had their greatest successes with Leiber and Stoller tunes.
“Smokey Joe’s Café is about the music that defines America. With energy and humor, the show gives audiences as much fun as they’ll ever experience in a theater,” explained Michael McFadden, co-founder and Artistic Producer of Phoenix Productions, the company touring the show.