Buffalo News, Forums and Opinions
Live Forums and Blogs | Onlinebuffalo.com | Erie County | City of Buffalo 

Last Updated: Feb 14th, 2018 - 13:16:28 

WNY News
Government Waste
Labor & Management
Letters to the Editor
Local Opinions
Local WNY Websites
New Government Structure
Press Releases
Taxes and Fees
WNY Health
WNY Business
Buffalo Sports
Insiders Corner


SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE MusicalFare/Daemen College
Feb 14, 2018, 13:13
Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Through March 11
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ MusicalFare Theatre/Daemen College

By Augustine Warner

Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller wrote songs at the nexus of White American music and “race” music.
That’s the music industry term for music sold to Black Americans.
Over the decades, there wasn’t much cross over, until the early Fifties and the change reflected different artists and a different audience.
Even during that time, it was standard for White musicians to “cover” Black music, the humorous attempts of Pat Boone to do rock and roll.
There were also different versions of the same song, the well-known “Hound Dog” from Elvis Presley and Big Mama Thornton’s pounding version.
That was Lieber and Stoller and there were also songs written for Black performers, like Ben E. King’s “Spanish Harlem” from the two and Phil Spector.
MusicalFare’s “Smokey Joe’s Café” is a “jukebox musical” of the two’s work, songs an entire generation remembers and getting a wonderful production, featuring some familiar voices and some new ones.
The show is directed and choreographed by John Fredo, who knows both how to sing and how to dance and is an increasingly solid director.
The show is the usual mix of performances by the entire cast or just a few or even one, like Dudney Joseph Jr.’s “Spanish Harlem,” Nicole Marrale Cimato’s “Falling” or all the men and the women with “I’m a Woman” or the entire cast with “Stand by Me” and “Neighborhood.”
“Smokey Joe” is one of those shows where you just sit back and listen and for many audience members remember like the guys with “On Broadway” or Brian Brown’s “Loving You” or the cast with “D.W. Washburn.”
With Fredo’s direction on Chris Schenk’s set, the show moves quickly although you have to think there is an awful mess of costumes back stage by the time the cast finishes with “Baby, That is Rock & Roll.”
It is and Lieber & Stoller were “present at the creation” and you can look back and hear why, as music moved from Pattti Page to Elvis Presley or the Drifters, all reflecting vast societal change, even if few recognized it back then.
This is a uniformly strong cast, especially Joseph, Michele Marie Roberts, Ben Michael Moran, newcomer Brown and Cimato.
We are well into the theater season, with a lot more to attend, but “Smokey Joe’s Café” is an early highlight of the season.
See it.

© Copyright 2017 - Speakupwny.com
hosted by Online Media, Inc
Buffalo Web Design and Web Hosting

Top of Page

Buffalo Theatre District
Latest Headlines
SPRING AWAKENING 710 Main Theatre/MusicalFare Theatre
BEN BUTLER Kavinoky Theatre
THE NIGHT ALIVE Irish Classical Theatre Company/Andrews Theatre
DON'T BOTHER ME, I CAN'T COPE Paul Robeson Theatre/African American Cultural Center
FAR AWAY Torn Space Theatre/Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle
BEGINNING AGAIN Alleyway Theatre
SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE MusicalFare/Daemen College
MIDDLETOWN Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre/Shaw Festival
DRACULA Festival Theatre/Shaw Festival
THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL Avon Theatre/Stratford Festival
AN OCTOROON Royal George Theatre/Shaw Festival
HMS PINAFORE Avon Theatre/Stratford Festival
ANDROCLES AND THE LION Court House Theatre/Shaw Festival
DANCING AT LUGHNASA Royal George Theatre/Shaw Festival
WILDE TALES Royal George Theatre/Shaw Festival

Buffalo Web hosting and Buffalo Web Design By OnLineMedia, Inc

Part of