Ginger Newman Directs SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE at The Keeton Theater 4/5-21

April 5
4:45 AM 2012


Showcasing the songs of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Ginger Newman directs The Keeton Theatre's production of Smokey Joe's Café April 5- 21, 2012.  

The show features thirty nine of the team's songs spanning rock and roll to rhythm and  blues including such well known hits as "Hound Dog," "Fools Fall In Love,","I'm A Woman" and "Jailhouse Rock."

Smokey Joe's Cafe is a show features nine performers, who take audiences back to the 1950s and 1960s with their renditions of many wonderful hits of the rock and roll era. Four of the male singers come together to  form a group reminiscent of the two famous quartets Leiber and Stoller wrote for-the Drifters and the Coasters-while other cast members deliver songs  made famous by some of the most powerful figures in the world of music, including Elvis Presley, Dion and Big Mama Thornton.

Newman's cast includes Bakari King, Elliot Winston Robinson, Patrick Kramer, Jonathan Price, Stanley Stewart, Jamie London, Carol Quinn, Ashley Bishop and Caitlyn Elese Williams. Onstage with the cast is a band comprised of four musicians who have played for many of the top artists:  Lee Druce on keyboards, Bob Marinelli on bass, Ed Greene on drums and Ben Graves on guitar, saxophone and and harmonica.

Ginger Newman, is thrilled to be bringing the show to the Keeton stage: "As a director, I have  always been drawn to musicals that have great music! Smokey Joe's Cafe is quite simply, just that, a show filled with great music. Songs that we love, we remember, we feel and we want to sing over and over again. Get the perfect musicians all together on one stage and the recipe is complete. We have done that and the pot is simmering. We await your presence at the feast."

Smokey Joe's Cafe will run April 5- 21, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Each performance is preceded by a delicious three course meal starting at 6 p.m., with lunch seating at 1  p.m. Tickets are $26 for dinner and show and $21 for show only with a special showonly price of $11 on Thursday nights.

The theater is located at 108 Donelson Pike in the FiftyForward Donelson Station building.


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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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