Off-Broadway Return of Smokey Joe's Café Begins July 6

Off-Broadway News   Off-Broadway Return of Smokey Joe's Café Begins July 6
The Tony-nominated Broadway revue begins performances at Stage 42 following a limited run at the Ogunquit Playhouse.
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Emma Degerstedt, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Dionne D. Figgins, and Alysha Umphress Joan Marcus

Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber & Stoller, which played a May 16–June 9 engagement at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, arrives at Off-Broadway's Stage 42 (422 W. 42nd St.) July 6.

Directed and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, the cast features Dwayne Cooper (Motown, Hairspray), Emma Degerstedt (Desperate Measures Off-Broadway), John Edwards (Jersey Boys), Dionne D. Figgins (Hot Feet, Memphis), Nicole Vanessa Ortiz (Spamilton Off-Broadway), Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Jelani Remy (Disney’s The Lion King), Max Sangerman (Blue Man Group Off-Broadway), and Alysha Umphress (On The Town, American Idiot).

The revival, from the show’s original producers Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, and Tom Viertel, will officially open July 22.

Producers announced July 6 that tickets for both the digital lottery and rush seats are $30. Available performances for the digital lottery will be posted on as early as midnight on the day of the performance. Matinee lotteries close at 9 AM, and evening lotteries close at 2 PM. Winners have two hours to complete their purchase online and can pick up their tickets at the Stage 42 box office with a credit card. The Stage 42 box office is open Monday–Sunday from noon–6 PM. If there is an evening performance, the box office will remain open until curtain. Rush tickets are subject to availability and available when the box office opens. There is a maximum of two tickets per person.


The show, conceived by Stephen Helper and Viertel, celebrates the music of songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and features such tunes as "On Broadway," "Jailhouse Rock," "Hound Dog," and "Love Potion #9." It premiered on Broadway in 1995 and earned seven Tony nominations, including Best Musical. The production went on to play over 2,000 performances at the Virginia Theatre (now the August Wilson).

The new production also features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Alejo Vietti, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Peter Fitzgerald, original vocal arrangements by Chapman Roberts, and orchestrations by Steve Margoshes and Sonny Paladino. Music supervision and new arrangements are also by Paladino. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting.

The producing quartet first revealed plans for a revival in 2015. A developmental reading took place the following year with a cast that included Wayne Brady, Alysha Umphress, Emily Padgett, and Chester Gregory.

(Updated July 6, 2018)

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