You’ve heard of Smokey Joe’s Café. Now you have a chance to see this famous Broadway musical in Birmingham. The talented actors of Red Mountain Theatre Company (RMTC) will light up the stage in this classic musical revue May 11-27. Keep reading to get a sneak peek into the show.
About Smokey Joe’s Cafe
Smokey Joe’s Café first premiered March 2, 1995, on Broadway. Since it’s opening, it has become the longest-running revue in Broadway history, performing an incredible 2,036 times.
What makes it such a hit?
The show’s longevity has been fueled by the legendary songs of Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber, an idealized 1950’s setting and toe-tapping tunes like “Hound Dog”, “Love Potion #9”, “On Broadway” and “Stand By Me”.
Direction and choreography
But a musical revue is only as good as its director and choreographer, actors and, of course, music. So who’s helping make the longest-running show on Broadway a success at the Red Mountain Theatre Company?
Meet Henry Scott, artist in residence at RMTC, director and choreographer of Smokey Joe’s Café.
Henry Scott, artist in residence at RMTC. Photo via Red Mountain Theater Company’s Facebook page.
Henry Scott has been in the performing arts since he was 16 years old, after auditioning for, and being cast in, The Robber Bridegroom at his high school.
“The director was a lady by the name of Linda P. Wise,” said Scott. “She found out that I was a championship clogger and a square dancer and she asked if I would help choreograph the show. I told her I knew nothing about choreography, to which she said, ‘You know more than you think’.”
Wise was right. For the next 20 years, Scott choreographed every show Wise directed at the community theatre.
Scott went on to study at Webster University Conservatory and, in 1991, he ventured to the Big Apple where he worked consistently for six years.
Scott’s affiliation with Red Mountain Theatre Company started in 1995 (the RMTC was called Summerfest at the time) when he was asked to direct Peter Pan and choreograph Godspell. He later returned to RMTC in 2007 to direct, choreograph, and teach.
In the years that followed, he directed Shout!, Les Miserables, The Little Mermaid, Big Fish and Alabama Story; he choreographed 13 and The Color Purple.
What does the RMTC offer Birmingham? According to Scott, “Consistent first-rate musical theatre.”
Behind the curtain of Smokey Joe’s Cafe
Auditions for the production of Smokey Joe’s Café wrapped up this past February. Now, with the cast in place, rehearsals are set to start on April 17.
“The rehearsal process is intense and demanding,” said Scott. “Actors are expected to come to the theatre warmed up and ready to begin rehearsal.”
Smokey Joe’s Café has two acts, a total of 40 songs, and with only three-and-a-half weeks of rehearsals, all aspects of preparation must be handled quickly and diligently by everyone involved in the production.
So far, Scott says everyone involved in the production is
“great and everyone is looking forward to beginning the next phase of the process.”
Why will Birmingham locals enjoy the show?
“Smokey Joe’s Café illuminates a golden age of American culture,” said Scott. “It offers audience members a nostalgic look at the not-so-distant past, while exploring universal themes of love won and lost. Birmingham locals will enjoy a fully realized production of Smokey Joe’s Café inhabited by marvelous performers, beautiful costumes, sets and lights and a score that is electrifying.”
When can you catch the show?
Smokey Joe’s Café will be hitting the stage of the Red Mountain Theatre May 11-27, 2018 located at 301 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203.
Showtimes are: Thurs.- Sat. at 7:30pm and Sat.-Sun. at 2pm
Are you ready to discover for yourself why Smokey Joe’s Café is such a long running Broadway hit? Then purchase your tickets now! Limited seats.