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Monday, February 22, 2016

Smokey Joe's Cafe @ Stumptown Stages

I've enjoyed Oldies since childhood, so "Smokey Joe's Cafe" was a show I couldn't wait to see. My gleeful anticipation was richly rewarded. The supremely talented cast, which includes the Grammy-nominated Julianne Johnson-Weiss, who also directs, does this revue of Leiber and Stoller hits justice.

I am happy to report that this production of "Smokey Joe's" sounds considerably less Broadwayized than the filmed version. I would guess that this is a intentional and wise choice on Johnson's part.

Standout numbers include "Saved" "Poison Ivy" and a truly astounding multi-voice version of "Stand By Me"

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" is a high-energy, soulful, splendid stroll through what I often wish was Memory Lane.

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