On Thursday, Jan 14th 2016 RyeTheNewsGuy.com attended the preview performance of Haddonfield Plays and Players’ opening season show, Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Smokey Joe’s rings in the New Year and new season for HP&P, which has a long list of hits coming up, some of which include: Elton John’s Aida, Bye Bye Birdie, and Leap of Faith! Such a great 2016 season!
I would usually do a video review, but I decided to write this one! Smokey Joe’s Cafe is considered a musical “revue”, with an extensive list of songs! The music is from the renowned lyricist Jerry Lieber and composer Mike Stoller. They have produced some of the great classics (featured in the show), such as “Yakety Yak”, “On Broadway”, “I (Who Have Nothing)”, and “Hound Dog”, just to name a few of MANY! With a list like that, you can definitely tell it’s going to be a good show! If you enjoy these hits and want to take a trip down memory lane, then this is just it!
The show consists of some of South Jersey’s finest performers and they range from gospel singers, to pop, and musical theatre! Their voices blended so beautifully and there were great ranges of old school, rock, and soul! The cast consists of DJ Hedgepath, Brooke McCarthy, Maria Panvini, Samantha Pruna, Toni Richards, Andrew Thompson, Darryl Thompson, Jr, and Alix Vitarelli. Each and every one delivered and gave their own take on the songs. The three men, Darryl, DJ, and Andrew, swooned us with their unforgettable vocals and harmonies, and we were “Saved” with the powerhouse performance and vocals by Toni Richards and the cast in the Act I finale!
There is nothing but love I can say and give for this show. The band blended so well and sounded pitch perfect with the singers (In past, the orchestra and/or band would often flood out the singers, or would not sound right. This is also due to the smaller space too. But not with this show!).
I’ve given you only a taste of what this show has to offer, the rest…well that is up to you to see for yourself! Get tickets to the “Cafe” by visiting www.HaddonfieldPlayers.org.
Smokey Joes Cafe marks the directorial debut of Erica Paolucci.