This Grammy® Award-winning and Tony Award®-nominated smash, made history as Broadway’s longest-running musical revue. Featuring 40 of the greatest songs of the past century, including show-stopping classics like “On Broadway,” “Stand by Me,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown,” it celebrates the music of the legendary songwriting duo, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Their generation-defining songs provided hit after hit for icons like Elvis Presley, Ben E. King, The Coasters, and The Drifters.
“Wildly infectious!” – New York Daily News
“To the baby-boom generation, the songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are as sacrosanct as George Gershwin is to their parents.” – The New York Times
Ticket prices: $55 adult; $50 senior; $25 student of all ages
Our patio bar will be open from 7pm on Friday and Saturday nights before the show where we will be serving red and white wine, rose, prosecco and beer. Cash and credit cards accepted. Come early to the Playhouse and enjoy a drink before the show.
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ – THE SONGS OF LEIBER AND STOLLER is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals. www.concordtheatricals.com
Originally produced on Broadway by Richard Frankel, Thomas Viertel, Steven Baruch, Jujamcyn Theaters/ Jack Viertel, Rick Steiner, Frederic H. Mayerson and Center Theatre Group/ Almanson Theatre/ Gordon Davidson.
2022 COVID PROTOCOL For SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE
Before admittance into the Playhouse, vaccinated patrons are asked to provide proof of vaccination (with photo ID). If you are not vaccinated, you must wear a mask. Entry will be denied to patrons who do not provide documentation as required. Wearing of masks in the theatre is recommended.
If you are not feeling well or are experiencing symptoms of covid, please do not travel to the Playhouse. We will gladly switch tickets to another date within the same show (subject to availability).
This season, Ivoryton Playhouse is back to full capacity for the first time in two years, yet the safety of our audience remains our primary concern. These guidelines are subject to change at any time during the season.
Joseph Castro(Michael) is excited to be making his Ivoryton debut. Some of his recent roles were Roger in Rent and Big Jule in Guys and Dolls at Montclair State University where he received his BFA in Musical Theatre. Thank you so much to Ivoryton Playhouse for this amazing opportunity! SOCIAL: @joseph.castro
Elvie Ellis(Adrian) is excited to make his Ivoryton Playhouse debut! National Tour: Waitress (Ensemble, Ogie, Cal & Joe u/s); International: The Best of…Rock Musicals in London, UK; Regional: Songs for a New World (Man 1) at Monumental Theatre; Curious George (Phinneas), Newsies (Bunsen), The Rocky Horror Show (Riff-Raff), and Titanic (Charles Clarke) at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. B.M.E. & M.Ed. from the University of Oklahoma. For my Savior, family, friends and teachers. Ephesians 2:10
Debra Thais Evans*(BJ) is a native New Yorker and thrilled to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut with Smokey Joe’s Cafe! She was most recently seen Off Broadway in Sistas the Musical and on Broadway in Rocktopia: A Classical Revolution. Debra has traveled throughout the US and Europe performing, most notably as the Strawberry Woman (Porgy and Bess) in Bregenz, Austria and Motormouth Maybelle on the national tour of Hairspray. She had the great honor to perform in NYC Opera’s production of Margaret Garner, libretto by the great Toni Morrison. Debra can also be heard on many albums with Stage Stars Records, Inc. Other favorite credits include A Fireside Christmas (Hostess) directed by Philip Wm. McKinley, Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend) directed by Stafford Arima, The Color Purple (Sofia), Rock of Ages (Justice), Chicago (Mama Morton), and Into the Woods (The Witch). Many thanks to Andrew, Mark and Mama, for always believing in me!
Tiffany Frances*(Brenda) Hailing from the Motor City Detroit, MI. Tiffany is a vivacious singer, songwriter and playwright. Having just wrapped up her Broadway Debut with Ain’t Too Proud, she is currently in the works of her second Jazz album. Tiffany studied Music Theatre Performance at Western Michigan University. Her Regional credits include: Memphis, Stepping Out and The Wiz! A lover of the arts and anything that serves her community. She would like to thank her loving parents for always supporting her dreams, her family, friends & Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. SOCIAL: @TiffanyFrances_
Cameron Loyal(Fred) is beyond grateful to be spending his summer here at Ivoryton Playhouse. He was most recently seen originating the role of Sid Worley in the 1st National Tour of An Officer and a Gentleman: The Musical. Recent Regional credits include: Aida (WPPAC), Legally Blonde (ARTSHHI), An Officer and a Gentleman (Workshop). Huge thanks family, friends, a great mentor, and my agents at The Collective. SOCIAL: IG: @camomile.t
Sandra Marante*(DeLee) is so happy to be returning to Ivoryton after Ivoryton after unfortunate cancellation of Forbidden Broadway in 2020 due to Covid-19 Pandemic. Most Recent: Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes! Select Credits: In the Heights, (Broadway at Music Circus, Westport Country Playhouse, Playhouse on Park), Stonewall (New York City Opera, Lincoln Center), Sueños(New York Theater Barn), Oklahoma! (Gulf Coast Symphony), Hatuey (American premiere, Peak Performances), Man of La Mancha (Princeton Festival), Madama Butterfly, My Fair Lady (Charlottesville Opera). TV: “BULL” (CBS), “Quiero Ser Estrella” (Univision) “Evil Lives Here” (Hulu). Graduate of New World School of the Arts (BM), Roosevelt University (MM) and UCONN (Artist Diploma). I love you to the moon and back my baby Phoenix and husband Kami. SOCIAL: IG: sandra_marante
Warren Nolan, Jr.*(Ken) is happy to be making his debut at Ivoryton Playhouse in Smokey Joe’s Cafe and excited to be working with Director Todd Underwood again! A native of San Diego, Ca, he is a recent Transplant to NYC. Favorite roles include Collins (RENT) (National Tour), Delray (Memphis), Mister (The Color Purple), Walter Lee (Raisin!), Curtis (Sister Act), King Triton (Little Mermaid) & Scar (Hong Kong Disney). Thanks to Dave @ Daniel Hoff Agency, Tony + Scrappy for sticking w/ me daily! (143) & to Mom & Dad for encouraging me in this journey!!
Gabriella Saramago(Pattie) is delighted to be returning to Ivoryton and joining this marvelous neighborhood! Select favorite credits: Wigs & Wishes: A Night to End Cancer with Fran Drescher at Madison Square Garden; Stories from the Bible (along the Amazon River) in Brasil; Sister Act: The Musical, (MNM Theatre Productions, LPAC South Florida); Godspell (Ivoryton Playhouse); Yuletide Carolers; Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square (where you may catch her serving a side of song with your milkshake) Orgulho de ser SOCIAL: @gabigabbles
Cartreze Tucker* (Victor / Dance Captain) Credits: The Color Purple (National Tour), Motown: The Musical (National Tour), HAIR (National/International Tour), Masquerade: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Trav’lin: A New Musical, Raisin: The Musical, Disney’s Tarzan: A New Musical, Sister Act, Disney’s Little Mermaid, Miss Saigon, RENT, Hairspray, and countless readings and workshops. Much love to Tyson & Buckley, The Fam, and Avalon Artist Group. SOCIAL: @cartreze | @blackboyplantjoy
Mike Morris Piano / Conductor
Mark Gehret Bass
Alex Giosa Drums / Percussion
Dan Hartington Guitar
Michael Paglione Saxophone
Andrew Wilcox Keyboard 2
Director and Choreographer: Todd Underwood
Musical Director: Michael Morris
Stage Manager: Theresa Stark*
Scenic Designer: Cully Long
Lighting Designer: Marcus Abbott
Costume Designer: Liz Saylor
* member of Actors Equity
Lyricist Jerome Leiber (April 25, 1933 – August 22, 2011) and composer Michael Stoller (born March 13, 1933) were American songwriting and record producing partners. They found success as the writers of such crossover hit songs as “Hound Dog” (1952) and “Kansas City” (1952). Later in the 1950s, particularly through their work with The Coasters, they created a string of ground-breaking hits—including “Young Blood” (1957), “Searchin’” (1957), and “Yakety Yak” (1958)—that used the humorous vernacular of teenagers sung in a style that was openly theatrical rather than personal.
All of the songs in SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (alone or with others) except “Spanish Harlem” by Phil Spector and Jerry Leiber. Messrs Leiber and Stoller wish to acknowledge and thank the following writers who collaborated with them on various songs in the show: Ben E. King, Doc Pomus, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Kent Harris, Ralph Dino & John Sembello and Carlo Donida & “Mogol”
“Spanish Harlem by Phil Spector and Jerry Leiber. Published by Mother Bertha Music, Inc. and Jerry Leiber. Music by arrangement with ABKCO Music, Inc.
Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips!
“Smokey Joe’s Cafe”
June 30th – July 31st, 2022
The music is hot and the jive is jumpin’ all summer long at the Ivoryton Playhouse! Our doors are now open to the glorious sounds of the 50s and 60s with SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller. This Grammy Award-winning and Tony nominated smash, made history as Broadway’s longest-running musical revue.
Featuring 40 of the greatest songs of the past century, including show-stopping classics like “On Broadway,” “Stand by Me,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Yakety Yak,” and “Charlie Brown,” it celebrates the music of legendary songwriting duo, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Their generation-defining songs provided hit after hit for icons like Elvis Presley, Ben E. King, the Coasters, and the Drifters.
In the 1950s, the rhythm and blues of the black entertainment world, up to then restricted to black clubs, was increasing its audience-share in areas previously reserved for traditional pop music, and the phenomenon now known as “crossover” became apparent. Leiber and Stoller were trailblazers in this genre when, in 1957, they wrote and produced the hit by The Coasters, “Young Blood”/”Searchin’”. In all, Leiber and Stoller wrote or co-wrote over 70 chart hits. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller is directed and choreographed by Associate Artistic Director, Todd Underwood and the creative team includes musical direction by Michael Morris; costume design by Elizabeth Saylor; set design by Cully Long and lighting design by Marcus Abbott.
This stellar cast comes to Ivoryton from as far away as Texas and as close as New York City and includes Joseph Castro, Elvie Ellis, Debra Thais Evans*, Tiffany Frances*, Cameron Loyal, Sandra Marante*, Warren Nolan*, Gabriella Saramago, and Cartreze Tucker*
Join the neighborhood gang as they recall love won, lost, and imagined. Whether it is your first time hearing these glorious songs, or whether it takes you on a trip down memory lane, SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE will have you shimmying in the aisle.
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller runs through Sunday, July 31st, 2022. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm; evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm.
This season, the Playhouse is back to full capacity for the first time in two years, yet the safety of our audience remains our primary concern. Masks are optional with proof of vaccination and required for those without a vaccination card.
Our patio bar will now be open from 7pm on Friday and Saturday nights before the show where we will be serving red and white wine, rose, prosecco and beer. Cash and credit cards accepted. Come early to the Playhouse and enjoy a relaxing drink before the show.
SixTix on Thursdays returns this season – half price tickets at the door after 6pm. Call ahead to check availability.
Tickets are $55 for adults, $50 for seniors, and $25 for students. Tickets are available online at ivorytonplayhouse.org or by calling the box office at 860.767.7318. (For information on group rates, please call the box office.) For more information on the entire 2022 season, visit ivorytonplayhouse.org. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
*Denotes a member of Actors Equity
Did You Know
In the 1950s the rhythm and blues of the black entertainment world, up to then restricted to black clubs, was increasing its audience-share in areas previously reserved for traditional pop music, and the phenomenon now known as "crossover" became apparent.
Leiber and Stoller progressed the course of modern popular music in 1957, when they wrote and produced the hit by The Coasters, "Young Blood"/"Searchin'". They released "Yakety Yak" - a mainstream hit - followed by "Charlie Brown".
They produced and co-wrote "There Goes My Baby", a hit for The Drifters in 1959, which introduced the use of strings for saxophone-like riffs, tympani for Brazilian baion rhythm, and lavish production values into the established black R&B sound, laying the groundwork for the soul music that would follow.
In all, Leiber and Stoller wrote or co-wrote over 70 chart hits. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.