Jay Allen Sanford 11 a.m., Feb. 14
Smokey Joe's Cafe
By the end of this revue, you begin to wonder how many early rock 'n' roll songs Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller didn't write. Smokey Joe's offers 38, and they composed others besides. I will cavil all day about some of the souped-up arrangements: especially "I Keep Forgettin'" as a staccato speedball and the Drifters' immortal "There Goes My Baby" sung, as the backup group goofs off, by a whiner (that song is a DIRGE!!!). But it's hard to fault the nine performers. Otha White and Lawrence Cummings head the cast. She belts "Hound Dog" à la Big Mama Thornton and does a special rendition of "Fools Fall in Love." He excels all evening long, then stops the show with "I Who Have Nothing." Although the performers (and the lighting plot) seemed unfamiliar with the space on opening night, director-choreographer Ron Kellum provides a crisp pace and sharp moves (of the Coasters' songs in particular: "Young Blood," "Little Egypt," and "Searchin'"). Don LeMasters' solid band never flags.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, October 10, 2010
- Sundays, 2pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm