by Lorie Lewis Ham
Last weekend was a weekend of musical revues for us at KRL, Saturday night was Side by Side by Sondheim, and Sunday we saw Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Roger Rocka’s, and both shows were a lot of fun.
Smokey Joe’s Cafe is a musical revue showcasing 39 songs by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, all pop standards including some rock and roll and rhythm and blues. There isn’t a unifying theme to the show beyond the songs, and no dialogue. Members of the cast are featured in various songs, along with several fun group numbers. Included are well known songs such as, “Fools Fall In Love,” “Poison Ivy,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “On Broadway,” and “Stand By Me.”
The cast includes some brand new faces. Young Isaac Brown is familiar to regular Roger Rocka fans as a part of GCP’s Junior Company, but this is his mainstage debut, at the tender age of 14. I’ve added this young man to my watch list as he is extremely talented and I can’t wait to see what he can do as he grows up. Not only does he have an amazing voice, he can dance, and has a real stage presence. Another actor making his GCP debut is Patrick Brancato, another very talented young man with a lovely voice.
It was also nice to see some not so new faces such as Brandon Delsid, whom I always enjoy watching on stage. Again, another beautiful voice, with a real stage presence and a gift for being funny. Steve Souza seems to be in almost everything I see these days at Roger Rocka’s, and he’s always a delight on stage. He was absolutely wonderful in The Addams Family, and fun to watch in Smokey Joe’s as well, adding some humor, and a nice deep voice. One of my favorite numbers was a song with him and Janet Glaude, another GCP veteran, “You’re the Boss.” Janet was also amazing in “Fools Fall in Love.” This very talented cast also includes Camille Gaston, Teresa Gipson, Marisa Sanchez, Ke’Lea Wilkins, Ashley Wilkinson, Jesse McCoy, and Brandon Yang. The show closes with style with a full cast rendition of “Stand By Me.”
If you are looking for a night of fun and beautiful music, performed by some lovely voices, don’t miss Smokey Joe’s Cafe on stage at Roger Rocka’s until January 10, 2015. And of course everything starts off with a fun performance by the Junior Co. singing songs from the upcoming season. Ticket info can be found on their website, and you can keep up with them on their KRL local theatre page as well.
Check out more local theatre reviews this week right here in KRL & even more theatre reviews & articles in our Arts & Entertainment section!