"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 Atlanta Lyric Theatre's staging of the seven-time Tony Award-nominated, Grammy Award-winning musical, SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ - The Songs of Leiber and Stoller, hits the Strand Theatre January 16 - February 1, 2009.
Powerful performances and razor-sharp staging bring songs from the black-and-white 1950's and '60's colorfully and vibrantly alive. The music of Leiber and Stoller lives on the radio, in our heads, and triumphantly on the stage.
Winner of the Grammy Award for Best Musical Album and nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Director, and Best Choreography, SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE 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.
Atlanta Lyric Theatre's SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE is directed by Brandt Blocker and choreographed by Jen MacQueen and Elizabeth Neidel, with musical direction by Michael Fauss, production design by Jonathan Foucheaux, costume design by Clint Horne and lighting by Bradley Bergeron.
Starring in the all-Atlanta production are Bradley Candie, Theresa Cunningham, Kenya Hamilton, David Howard, Michael Larche, Shawn Megorden, Jevares C. Myrick, Brett Parker, and Cailtin Smith.
Larche, a native of New Orleans who fled to Atlanta after losing his home in Hurricane Katrina, re-unites with Blocker having appeared in SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE in the Big Easy in 2004.
"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 CAFE plays January 16-February 1, 2009. All performances are held at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre: Home of Atlanta Lyric Theatre, 117 N. Park Square in historic Marietta. Tickets are $30-$35 and may be purchased at www.atlantalyrictheatre.com or by calling 404-377-9948.