|Smokey Joe's Café – The Songs of Lieber and Stoller
July 26-29, 2012 / multiple times
Sitnik Theater of the Lackland Center
Jammin In July Concert Series
BROADWAY HIT - SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ
“If there were Tony Awards for New Jersey’s
theaters, here’s who would shine.”
The musical theatre review which was nominated for 7 Tony awards, and ran on Broadway for over 2000 performances, will come to the Centenary Stage this month, when the acclaimed New Jersey Youth Theatre brings their high-energy production of Smokey Joe's Café to the Sitnik Theater of the Lackland Center, July 26 – 29 in Hackettstown.
Fusing jazz and blues with good old fashioned rock and roll, Smokey Joe's Café is filled with wall-to-wall music by Hall of Fame songwriting duo Leiber and Stoller, one of the finest teams ever to have hits with Elvis Presley, Ben E. King, the Drifters, the Coasters, and everyone else who mattered in the early days of rock (see 'About The Composers: Leiber & Stoller' below). From "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" to "Spanish Harlem" and "Kansas City," the greatest tunes of the '50s and '60s come alive in a high-energy performance.
Director: Cynthia Meryl (of NJ Youth Theatre)
Set in an idealized 1950’s era, the show spotlights a golden age of American music and pop culture with renditions of hits such as “On Broadway,” “Stand by Me,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” “Yakety Yak,” “Poison Ivy,” “Charlie Brown,” “Love Potion #9,” and many more. The Original Broadway cast soundtrack, Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs Of Leiber And Stoller won a Grammy Award in 1995.
Founded in 1991 by Broadway veteran Cynthia Meryl, and based in Westfield, NJ, the New Jersey Youth Theatre has won several prestigious awards, including the Music Theatre International Award for Excellence and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Citation of Excellence. Their production of “Sweeney Todd” won the Star Ledger “Obie Award” for Best Revival, with critic Peter Filichia stating that the company “must lead the nation in glorious young voices.”
Performances for “Smokey Joe’s Café” will be Thursday at 7:30 PM, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets are $22.50-$27.50 with discounts for seniors, students, and children under 12, and they are available through the CSC Box office at 715 Grand Ave., open 1-5 PM Monday through Friday, and 2 hours prior to each performance. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org, or by calling the box office at 908-979-0900.
The CSC Summer Concert Series will conclude on Aug 4 with “Beatlemania Now”, a live musical tribute to the Beatles.
The 2012-13 season of performing arts events at Centenary Stage Company is made possible (and affordable) through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, and CSC members and sponsors, including Premiere Sponsors Fulton Bank of New Jersey and Heath Village Retirement Community, as well as Silver Sponsor Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, and Mama’s and Café Baci.
On Thursday, June 14, 2012 Leiber, Stoller, and Ben E. King will be honored with the Towering Song Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame for "Stand By Me." This particular award is presented to writers of an individual song that has "influenced our culture in a unique way over many years." Ben E. King's recording of "Stand By Me" hit #1 on the R&B Charts in 1961. The song is also featured in Smokey Joe's Cafe.
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote songs together for over sixty years starting in 1950. During this time they covered an array of genres--rock and roll, cabaret, jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues. Their memorable songs have been recorded by the top artists of the day including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, James Brown, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Joe Williams, Tom Jones, Count Basie, Edith Piaf, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Luther Vandross, John Lennon, and Aretha Franklin.
About New Jersey Youth Theatre (NJYT)
New Jersey Youth Theatre's Mission Statement The mission of New Jersey Youth Theatre is to provide the highest quality theatre arts education and on-stage experience at little or no cost to aspiring young performers and technicians interested in entering the professional arena.The mission is also to present to the general public the highest caliber performances and productions that NJYT's talents and resources can provide.
NJYT's 2006 production of Ragtime, The Musical was lauded by Peter Filichia, theatre critic for the NJ Star Ledger and Broadway Mania, as the "Best Musical in New Jersey." The same year Filichia named NJYT's Cynthia Meryl "Best Director of a Musical Revival." In 2008, NJYT's 1776 was hailed by Filichia as "absolutely stunning" and the cast "equal to the historic challenge." Filichia again showed his appreciation for NJYT's acclaimed productions by stating that the "Jersey teens are bloody magnificent..., this production surpasses the last two Broadway revivals," in regards to the 2009 NJYT production of Sweeney Todd.
New Jersey Youth Theatre has received two Citations of Excellence, in 2004 and 2010, from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for excellence in artistic quality, programming and public service in the arts. NJYT has also been awarded the Musical Theatre International Award for Excellence for the 2003 production of West Side Story.
Also see the NJYT Website: New Jersey Youth Theatre
Sitnik Theater of the David and Carol Lackland Performing Arts Center on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Directions
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