Ogunquit Playhouse To Open SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE
The Ogunquit Playhouse kicks off its 86th season with the all-new incarnation of the sizzling song and dance celebration Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller on stage May 16 to June 9. This exuberant production of the record breaking Broadway smash hit is directed and choreographed by Emmy Award-winner and Tony Award-nominee Josh Bergasse who will bring new life to more than 30 classic songs including "Stand by Me," "I'm a Woman," "Hound Dog," "Fools Fall In Love," "On Broadway," "Yakety Yak," "Pearl's a Singer," "Treat Me Nice," "There Goes My Baby," "Love Potion #9," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Spanish Harlem." The all-new production heads to Stage 42 (422 West 42nd Street, NYC) following its Ogunquit run.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the original producing team to create this fantastic show," stated Executive Artistic Director, Bradford Kenney. "It has been our honor to work with Jack Viertel who conceived Smokey Joe's Cafe with Stephen Helper and the New York producers, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, and Marc Routh, who have made this collaboration possible. It has also been our honor to bring this incredible creative team to Ogunquit led by Director/Choreographer Josh Bergasse and Tony Award-winning designers Beowulf Boritt and Jeff Croiter as well as Costume Designer Alejo Vietti and Sound Designer Peter Fitzgerald."
Individual tickets are on sale now with prices starting at $52. Subscription packages are also available and guarantee the best seats for the best price. Prices start at only $247 for a five-show package and $147 for a three-show package. Gift certificates are also on sale. Tickets are available online at www.ogunquitplayhouse.org and through the Box Office located at 142 Main Street, Ogunquit or 207-646-5511.
The original production of Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller made history as Broadway's longest running musical revue, earned a Grammy Award and multiple Tony Award nominations. The show celebrates the best songs of the legendary songwriting duo, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and their generation-defining songs that climbed the Billboard charts and provided hit after hit for icons like Elvis Presley, Ben E. King, The Coasters, and The Drifters.
The cast of this all-new production features Broadway and Off-Broadway veterans including, Dwayne Cooper, who appeared on Broadway in Motown and Hairspray, and the National Tours of Smokey Joe's Cafe, Showboat, and Seussical The Musical; Emma Degerstedt who was most recently seen in the lead role in the Off-Broadway musical, Desperate Measures; John Edwards, whose credits include the Broadway production and National Tour of Jersey Boys, In the Heights at The Kennedy Center and the National Tour of Hairspray; Dionne D. Figgins, who began her career as a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem, and has been seen on Broadway in Hot Feet, Memphis, Leap of Faith, and Motown. Also joining the cast are Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, who made her theatre debut as the leading lady in the Off-Broadway parody, Spamilton; Kyle Taylor Parker, who was most recently seen on NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert," and the original Broadway productions of Kinky Boots and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Jelani Remy, who most recently starred as "Simba" in Broadway's The Lion King; Max Sangerman, who starred in the first National tour of The Lightning Thief, as well as Blue Man Group Off-Broadway; and Alysha Umphress, who performed on Broadway in On the Town, American Idiot, and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, among others.
Smokey Joe's Cafe is directed and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse and features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Alejo Vietti, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Peter Fitzgerald, original vocal arrangements by Chapman Roberts, and orchestrations by Steve Margoshes and Sonny Paladino. Music Supervision and new arrangements are also by Mr. Paladino.
The powerhouse ensemble is led by director/choreographer Joshua Bergasse, who most recently choreographed Broadway's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and received an Astaire Award and Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Circle Award nominations for his choreography on the acclaimed revival of On the Town. As a director/choreographer, Joshua co-directed and choreographed the acclaimed Bombshell on Broadway concert at the Minskoff Theatre, and directed and choreographed Hazel, a new musical at the Drury Lane Theatre last spring. His other New York choreography credits include Cagney for which he received Drama Desk, Astaire, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, and Sweet Charity starring Sutton Foster at The New Group for which he received a Chita Rivera Award and a Lortel Award nomination. He also received an Emmy Award for his choreography on NBC's musical drama "Smash."
Scenic design for Smokey Joes Cafe is by Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt, whose many Broadway credits include Act One (Tony Award), The Scottsboro Boys (Tony Nomination), Therese Raquin (Tony Nomination), Come From Away, Meteor Shower, A Bronx Tale, Prince Of Broadway, Sunday in the Park with George, Hand To God, On The Town, Sondheim On Sondheim, Rock Of Ages, Chaplin, Bronx Bombers, Grace, and The Two And Only. Off-Broadway he has designed 100 shows including The Last Five Years, Sleepwalk With Me, and Miss Julie. He has also designed for The NYC Ballet, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and around the world in England, Russia, China, Australia, and Japan. In 2007 he received the OBIE Award for sustained excellence.
Costume Design for the production is by Alejo Vietti, who is a New York based costume designer born in Argentina. His credits include Broadway's Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, Allegiance for which he received a Drama Desk nomination and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (also National Tour and West End, Olivier nomination, Australia, Japan and UK tour). His other New York credits include works for the Radio City Rockettes, City Center Encores, Roundabout, NYC Opera, Atlantic Theatre, and Irish Rep, among others. He has also designed for many regional and international theatres including Chicago Lyric Opera, Donesk Opera (Ukraine), Goodspeed, Guthrie, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Ford's Theatre, Long Wharf, Paper Mill Playhouse, and Pasadena Playhouse. He is a recipient of the TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Award.
Tony Award-winner Jeff Croiter, joins the creative team as Lighting Designer. His many Broadway credits include Bandstand, Falsettos, Holiday Inn, Something Rotten, Disaster, Penn and Teller, Newsies, and Peter and the Starcatcher for which he won a Tony Award. Off-Broadway he has designed the lighting for The Jerry Springer Opera; Tiny Beautiful Things; F-king A; Cost of Living; Good For Otto; Sweet Charity; Head of Passes; The Robber Bridegroom; King Lear; Loves Labors Lost; Fly By Night; Last Five Years; Old Jews Telling Jokes;