The Company Theatre will be rocking with “Smokey Joe’s Café”

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MARSHFIELD MARINER – Step back in time and rock around the clock at The Company Theatre this weekend as the South Shore plays host to the first stop on the national tour of “Smokey Joe’s Café”, a musical revue documenting the birth of rock and roll.

A musical revue featuring the songs of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stroller, the show includes classic tunes like “Jailhouse Rock”, “Stand by Me”, “Hound Dog” and “Fools Fall in Love” performed by a cast of nine and accompanying band.

“This really appealed to us, when I saw it was being revived, because it has tremendous popularity,” said Company Theatre co-founder and artistic director Zoe Bradford. “We did it in house one time, with local performers, and it was a huge hit.”

Bradford said bringing in professional productions such as “Smokey Joe’s Café” gives local audiences a taste of something different.

“It’s great for our audience, because they’re getting to see different people than they would normally,” she said. “This gives them the opportunity to see the best of the best from around the country, so that’s really exciting because it’s like having Broadway in your backyard. I don’t use that term loosely, because it is pretty much known that this is going to Broadway.”

The songs, she said, are recognizable to all generations, because of the massive popularity they had when originally recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley and Diana Ross.

“Sometimes, when you do things that are retro, there is a limited audience, but for this one it really isn’t case,” Bradford said. “The music is so recognizable, they’re really the inventors of rock and roll in a way, and their hits go on and on.”

Bradford said hosting productions such as this provide a valuable opportunity for the staff at The Company Theatre to interact with touring professionals in the industry and for audiences to experience their talents as well.

“According to everything we’ve seen, these are real powerhouse performers,” Bradford said. “It’s like a perfect storm of being able to blow the roof off the house, which is what Company Theatre is known for. We love to really get our audiences going, and this guarantees to do that.”

“Smokey Joe’s Café” became the longest-running revue in Broadway history after opening in 1995. The show was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical that year and won the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album in 1996.

“Smokey Joe’s Café” will open on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m., followed by an 8 p.m. show on Feb. 9, shows at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Feb. 10, closing out with a final show on Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $41 for Thursday’s show and $43 for all weekend shows and can be purchased at www.companytheatre.com. The theater is located at 30 Accord Park Dr. in Norwell.

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By James Kukstis

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