Elmwood Playhouse Rocks With Smokey Joe’s Cafe 50s/60s Music Revue

BY GEORGE J. DACRE

A very talented cast of entertainers has been put together for Elmwood Playhouse’s production of “Smoky Joe’s Cafe,” the famous 1950s and 60s music revue. The show opened to a full house this past Friday and Saturday at the newly renovated community theatre on Park Street in Nyack.

There seems to be no storyline to “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” and little dialogue, if any. It is just one great rock and roll number after another performed with a live band that plays off stage in Act I backing up soloists and groups of dancers and singers and then takes the stage in Act II. From such numbers as “Falling,” “Young Blood,” “Ruby Baby,” “Dance With Me,” “Kansas City,” “Fools Fall In Love,” “Poison Ivy,” “On Broadway and Saved,” Act I is tremendous. Act II has the sign Smokey Joe’s Cafe on stage and the orchestra, which is groovy backing up the entertainers on such classics as “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown,” “Teach Me How To Shimmy,” “Hound Dog,” “Treat Me Nice,” “I’m A Woman,” “Love Potion #9,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Spanish Harlem” and “Stand by Me” and more.

The cast includes the very talented T. Eric Collins, Allison Cipris, Bridget Fenton Clark, Alicia Crowe, Yvette Rose McLarty, Herve Alexander, Maurice Chinnery, Tanya Garcia, Jon Huston and Paul Russo. They all work very well together and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” has never a dull moment.

Jon Huston has great moments during the show as does Bridget Clark (she can really shimmy), Alicia Crowe, Herve Alexnder, Alison Cipris and all the cast. The orchestra conducted by keyboard man Chris Bankey and including Richard Louie, bass, Howard Sperling, keyboard/guitar, Ethan Gueldenzopf, drums and Devlin Dermott, tenor and baritone sax is right on with all this great music.

Directed and choreographed by Cal Chiang and produced by Kathy Gnazzo and Jom Guarsci, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is great entertainment and I rate it Four Stars out of Four!

It is on through June 16. For tickets and information 845-353-1313 or www.elmwoodplayhouse.com.