July 24, 2014  

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Southern Miss Theatre Ends Season with Revue of American Music

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Smokey Joe’s Café opens at 7:30 p.m. April 14 in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre. (Submitted photo)

The longest-running musical revue in Broadway history will end The University of Southern Mississippi’s theatre season beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday., April 14 in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre.

Smokey Joe’s Café is a seven-time Tony Award-winning music revue based on old favorites from jazz and R&B musicians Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The performance features 11 cast members consisting of theatre and music students. Robin Carr, associate professor of voice and acting in the Southern Miss Department of Theatre and Dance, directs this production.

According to Carr, Smokey Joe’s Café has a “youthful energy with a strong focus to make the material as assessable as possible for the audience.”

Leiber and Stoller, considered by some to be two of the most influential songwriters of popular music, started writing music in the 1950s after meeting in Los Angeles, Calif. The duo is most commonly known for one of their first songs “That’s What the Good Book Says.” Since then, they have written some of the most memorable and spirited rock ‘n’ roll songs of our time, such as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “Charlie Brown.”

Leiber and Stoller won a Grammy Award for “Is That All There Is?” in 1969 and for the cast album of Smokey Joe’s Café.

“I think student and the community really will enjoy this piece. It is upbeat and entertaining. This is a fun way to end a theatre season,” Carr said.

The show continues April 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 p.m. plus an additional performance on April 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for the public; $10 for faculty, staff, seniors, military; and $6 for students. To purchase tickets, visit www.southernmisstickets.com or call 601.266.5418.