FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2009
Contact: Shannon Frost
(601) 948-3533 ext. 226
Biddy directs production of `Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ in Jackson
JACKSON, Miss. -- William “Peppy” Biddy, chair of the department of
music and theatre at Mississippi University for Women, is directing the upcoming production of “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Music of Leiber & Stoller” at New Stage Theatre in Jackson.
New Stage Theatre will present its 43rd season closer May 26-June 7.
Preview night is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Curtain times and dates for all
other performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket prices are $22 with discounts available for students, senior citizens and groups. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, located inside the Jane Reid Petty Theatre Center at 1100 Carlisle Street in the Belhaven neighborhood, charged by phone by calling the theatre at (601) 948-3531 or ordered online at www.newstagetheatre.com.
“Smokey Joe’s Café: The Music of Leiber & Stoller” is sponsored
by The Gertrude Ford Foundation.
The greatest hits of the ‘50s and ‘60s are all on the menu at “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” a rockin’ party of a show that will have your hands clappin’ and toes tappin’. “Jail House Rock,” “Stand By Me,” “Yakety Yak,” “Hound Dog” and more are the electrifying creations of legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the Rodgers and Hammerstein of Rock ‘n Roll. “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” Broadway’s longest running musical revue, harnesses the power of an era of music that changed the world in a raucous night of musical theatre.
“New Stage Theatre’s production of “Smokey Joe’s Café” is a
rock and roll musical feast for our audience,” said Artistic Director
Francine Thomas Reynolds. “In the 1950’s, Leiber and Stoller changed popular music forever; they found the sweet spot between smooth pop and raw blues and were among the first songwriters to produce their own songs.”
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met in Los Angeles in 1950. The two met and shared an interest in blues and rhythm and blues music. They
immediately began working together and came up with instant hits. From there they worked with such recording artists as The Drifters, The Coasters, The Robins, The Cheers, Elvis Presley, The Clovers, The Exciters, Shangri-Las, The Dixie Cups, Peggy Lee and many others. They have won two Grammy Awards, nominated for seven Tony Awards for “Smokey Joe’s Café” and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The cast of “Smokey Joe’s Café” includes Christopher Deaton
(Keller, Texas), Naima Carter Russell (Decatur, Ga.), Jay Thompson
(Edwards), Michael Fisher (Greensboro, N.C.), Donald Jones, Jr.
(Natchitoches, La.), Charles Orr (Flowood), Molly Tremonte (Clinton),
Rebecca Russell (Natchitoches, La.) and Sharon Miles (Hattiesburg).
The “Smokey Joe’s Café” band features Bud Berthold (Raymond) on
the drums, Sherman Lee Dillon (Jackson) on guitar, Andrew Dillon
(Jackson) on bass and Mike Hampton (Clinton) on the saxophone.
Biddy said, “The cast we have assembled is fantastic. It will be well
worth the drive to Jackson to hear this group of singers. Anyone who has ever listened to Rock n’Roll whether it was growing up in the 50s and the 60s or currently tuning in to an oldies station will recognize most of the tunes in this show.”