CARLSBAD, CA. January 2019 – New Village Arts is pleased to announce the upcoming production of SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ: THE SONGS OF LEIBER & STOLLER, a celebration of iconic American songwriting partners Jerry Leiber and Michael Stoller, who wrote some of the most timeless rock-n-roll songs of the 1950s. The production is directed by Tony Houck, with choreography from Michael
Leiber and Stoller, as much as anyone, virtually invented rock-n-roll, and now their songs provide the basis for an electrifying entertainment that illuminates a golden age of American culture. The classic themes of love won, lost and imagined blend with hilarious set-pieces and slice-of-life emotions. Featuring nearly 40 of the greatest songs ever recorded (including “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Potion Number 9,” and “Stand By Me”), SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ isn’t just great pop music – it is compelling musical theatre. Under Houck’s direction, this classic jukebox musical will take on new life with modern storytelling, emphasizing the timelessness of these classic songs.
Houck, a longtime NVA Music Director and performer, is making his directorial debut with SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ, and he is also serving as Music Director for the production. Houck was most recently featured as the Music Director of LEGALLY BLONDE, and has received a Craig Noel Award Nomination for his performance in 2018’s AVENUE Q. Craig Noel Award-Nominated Michael Mizerany returns to the NVA stage, having last choreographed THE FULL MONTY in 2014. Mizerany’s recent choreography credits include THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (OB Playhouse), TRYST (Diversionary Theatre), and SHOCKHEADED PETER (Cygnet Theatre).
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ features a cast of NVA veterans and newcomers. Returning performers include Natasha Baenisch (CINDERELLA EATS RICE & BEANS), Melissa Fernandes (AVENUE Q, BIG RIVER), Jasmine January (AVENUE Q), Eboni Muse (BUDDY – THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY), and Trevor Rex (LEGALLY BLONDE). Making their NVA debuts are Philip David Black, Kevin
“Blax” Burroughs, Isaac Kalimo, and Kyle Leatherbury. They are joined by an onstage band led by Houck, featuring Benjamin Goniea (OKLAHOMA!) on keyboard, Marc Akiyama (LEGALLY BLONDE, BUDDY – THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY) on percussion, and Kyle Bayquen (LEGALLY BLONDE) on bass.
The production will run from January 25 to March 10, 2019.