Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Smokey Joe's Cafe"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Bob Guenthner a k a The Old Grump

"Smokey Joe's Cafe"
The songs of Leiber and Stoller

reviewed by The Old Grump

Musical Direction - Tobias S. Monte
Artistic Director - George Charbonneau
Musical Staging and Direction - Jean-Paul Richard
Executive Producer - Armand Marchand

New Bedford Festival Theatre at the Zeiterion

Cast: John Michael Dias, Brooke Jacob, Andre McRae Nathaniel Nicco-Annon, Jennifer Rappo, Steven C Rich Rubin Singleton, Andrea Dora Smith, Ronica V Reddick

The Z has been known to put on some excellent shows over the years. This year Armand out did himself in getting this cast together. Nine young, talented, energetic singer / dancers gave the audience an hour and a half of pleasure. The old rock and roll numbers were all familiar, but presented in such a way that they sounded new to us. The gray heads as well as the younger people enjoyed each and every song.

The stand out numbers were
YOUNG BLOOD - Andre & Company
ON BROADWAY - Andre, Nathaniel, Rubin, Steven
YAKETY YAK - Company
TEACH ME HOW TO SHIMMY - John, Brooke, Rubin, Steven

One song stopped the show. The audience in mass got to it's feet and gave an ovation to Steven C. Rich for his rendition of I [Who Have Nothing]. I know this song has been sung a million or more times by a million or more singers, but the emotion that Steven showed was absolutely fantastic. He acted the song out as he sang it, falling to his knees and crying at its finish.

I, among the many others there, stood and screamed my approval.

I have seen this show several times, but never has a cast shown me the energy and skill this one did.

Next for N.B. Festival is Jekyll & Hyde, with equities David Weitzer playing the lead. As a Jekkie [a die hard fan of the show], I will be there.

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" (Dates?)
The Zeiterion Theatre, 684 Purchase Street, NEW BEDFORD MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide