“Smokey Joe’s Cafe” comes to Morgan County High School
By Lindsay Oberst
Imagine rock and roll hits from the 1950s intertwined with humorous teenage vernacular sung in an openly theatrical style.
Experience the jumping and jiving joviality of these tunes with Morgan County High School's performance of "Smokey Joe's Cafe" at 7 p.m. in the MCHS auditorium this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The entire musical contains no dialogue, but features 40 songs from Jerome Leiber and Mark Stoller, who were prodigious American songwriters of post-World War II popular music.
Some of their hits include "Hound Dog" and "Yakity Yak."
"It's a flashback through the decade," Steve DeLaigle, the play's director, said. "It's more of a musical reminiscence about how people got in trouble and got saved."
Some students weren't sure about the music at first, since it's so different from the popular hits of today, but DeLaigle said the music grew on even the most stubborn students.
The cast includes 40 students and a live band.
"No one really stars in the show," DeLaigle said. "It's a company show. They all get a chance to sing, and there are about nine or 10 solos."
Katie Anderson, of local dance studio Pointe of Grace, choreographed the dance routines, while the poodle skirts worn by the girls were designed by Catherine Bishop and Sara Lydia Tuell.
DeLaigle described the costumes as anachronistic, or not accurate to the time period.
"They have the look of the movie 'Grease,' but aren't necessarily trying to portray that look," he said. "We wanted to make this show feel like it could be anytime."
The original musical was nominated for seven Tony Awards, and the original soundtrack won a Grammy award in 1995.
The students worked on the production for eight weeks.
The show will be two hours long with a 10 minute intermission, and tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults.
PHOTO BY A. BELLEBUONO
PRACTICE MCHS students and faculty members practice for their performance of
“Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”
PRINTED IN THE APRIL 16, 2009 EDITION