This weekend was the opening weekend for Smokey Joe’s Café at the Woodlawn Theatre. This musical revue runs until Sunday September 14 except for Saturday September 6 when the cast will be performing at the Woodlawn Theatre’s first ever gala.
Smokey Joe’s Café is presented in revue format with no unifying theme or dialogue. That might seem like a bad idea at first but this time it works. It is simply a celebration of rock and roll and rhythm and blues from the 50s and 60s presented in various combinations by the different members of the cast.
The opening number is ‘Neighborhood’ and it sets the mood for the rest of the evening in the sense that it’s a nostalgic look at the early years of rock and roll. The entire production consists of almost 40 songs ranging from novelty songs to romantic ballads. The mostly older audience was treated to and enjoyed such gems like ‘Fools Fall in Love’ and ‘Teach Me How to Shimmy.’
Standout performances include ‘Trouble’ by Alyssa and Conley while Alyssa shines in the sassy ‘Don Juan’ and ‘Some Cats Know’ in Act 2. The upbeat ‘Saved’ by Danielle and the entire cast ends the first act in a hilarious note and builds anticipation for the second act. It doesn’t disappoint as the cast comes back with classic Elvis hits ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock.’ Danielle’s emotional rendition of ‘Fools Fall in Love’ prove just how talented this cast is. As a whole they shine the light on these much loved hits of years past and make Smokey Joe’s Café a must see for fans of any age. It’s an enjoyable night of music and dance.
Performances for Smokey Joe’s Café are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30p.m. and Sundays at 2p.m. Ticket prices are $15 for students and children, $20 for seniors and military and $23 for adults. They may be purchased online or at the box office by calling (210) 267-8388.