The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director), announced today that a “Playhouse Rock on El Molino” 1950’s community dance party and a free outdoor screening of “Jailhouse Rock” starring Elvis Presley will celebrate the opening of SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE: THE SONGS OF LEIBER AND STOLLER on Sunday, September 22, from 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. on El Molino Avenue in front of the theatre.
El Molino Avenue will be twisting and shouting with a step back in time to the days of drive-in movies, poodle skirts, pompadours and Elvis with a one-night-only community sock hop dance in front of The Pasadena Playhouse. Dancers from the Arthur Murray Dance Centers will get the crowd up on their feet and lindy-hopping to classic rock ‘n’ roll songs followed by a free outdoor screening of the 1957 classic “Jailhouse Rock” (attendees are welcome to bring their own folding chairs or blankets for the screening). Guests can enjoy refreshments from neighborhood businesses (for purchase; no alcohol allowed in event area) and then end the night with a dance-off contest with a celebrity panel of judges who will select the night’s favorite couples.
“Music has a magical gift of bringing people together and The Playhouse continues its commitment to giving back to the community,” said Playhouse Executive Director Elizabeth Doran. “The songs of SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE are a part of America’s musical tapestry, and we invite our community to come and celebrate with us at our 50’s dance party and movie. This will be a fun way to end the summer and enjoy spending time with friends and family.”
The schedule for the “Playhouse Rock on El Molino” event is:
4:00 p.m. – El Molino Avenue closes down to all vehicle traffic
6:00 p.m. – “Playhouse Rock on El Molino” begins
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Instructors from the Arthur Murray Dance Centers teach famous dances
from the 1950’s
7:15 p.m. to 8:50 p.m. – Screening of “Jailhouse Rock”
9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Dance-off contest begins and dance party continues
10:30 p.m. – Playhouse Rock on El Molino” ends
11:00 p.m. – El Molino Avenue opens to vehicle traffic
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE is the hottest joint in town! This Tony Award-nominated and GRAMMY Award-winning tribute to legendary songwriters Leiber and Stoller is a dazzling song-and-dance celebration of 40 of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest hits, including “Stand by Me,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Spanish Harlem” and “Yakety Yak.” The New York Times claims, “Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are the Rodgers and Hammerstein of rock ‘n’ roll!” The New York Daily News calls SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE “wildly infectious” and Time Magazine says, “it sails and soars!” SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE is being presented this season in honor of Playhouse supporter and Board member, Mike Stoller and his wife, Corky Hale Stoller.
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met in Los Angeles as young songwriters in 1950, producing material for rhythm and blues and gospel artists. By the time they were 20 years old, they had their first huge hit with Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton’s “Hound Dog” that went on to be covered by Elvis Presley in 1956, paving the way for the new emerging sound of rock ‘n’ roll. In November 1994, SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE premiered at the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood as a part of the Ahmanson Theatre’s season and then transferred to Broadway in March 1995 where it played at the Virginia Theatre for over 2,000 performances, becoming the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history.
The cast for SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE features (in alphabetical order):
• LaVance Colley as “LaVance” (back-up singer for Diana Ross and Beyoncé)
• Kyra Little Da Costa as “Kyra” (Broadway’s Baby It’s You! and Sweet Charity)
• Thomas Hobson as “Thomas” (Nickelodeon’s “The Fresh Beat Band”)
• Stu James as “Stu” (Broadway’s The Color Purple and Rent)
• Adrianna Rose Lyons as “Adrianna” (Rock of Ages, ModRock)
• Monique L. Midgette as “Monique” (National Tour of The Lion King, Broadway’s House of Flowers)
• Robert Neary as “Robert” (Broadway’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe)
• Michael A. Shepperd as “Michael” (Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors)
• Carly Thomas Smith as “Carly” (Broadway’s Rent, We Will Rock You)
In addition to director Jeffrey Polk, the creative team for SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE includes music direction by Abdul Hamid Royal (Music Director for the U.S. National Tour of SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE), scenic design by Gary Wissmann, costume design by Sharell Martin, lighting design by Steven Young and sound design by Jon Gottlieb and Philip G. Allen.
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ: THE SONGS OF LEIBER AND STOLLER will play from September 17 – October 13, 2013, with the official press opening on Sunday, September 22, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Single show ticket prices for SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE range from $45.00 – $85.00, with Premium Seating available for $125.00. Service and theatre restoration fees apply to all purchases. Tickets are available by calling The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office at 626-356-7529 or by visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance, the Box Office is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available 24 hours online at www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org. Group Sales (8 or more) are available by calling 626-921-1161. For additional information visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.