You may not recognize the names Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, prolific songwriters, but you will surely know their tunes. Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury wants to reacquaint you with their musical magic until Sunday, December 18 when it delivers for your listening pleasure “Smokey Joe’s Café,” a wonderful catalogue of rock and roll, rhythm and blues and pop standards.
Called the inventors of rock and roll, Leiber and Stoller are the musical parents of the baby-boomer generation and they are credited with such tunes as “Neighborhood,” “Dance with Me,” “Kansas City,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “On Broadway” and “Stand by Me.”
The talented cast of nine includes Paul Aguirre, Christopher Brasfield, Bobby Gouse, Monica Heuser, Sarah Ledtke, John Lynes, A’Lisa D. Miles, Housso Semon and Nicholas Ward and they belt out the melodies while executing a delightful series of coordinated dance steps arranged by choreographer Janine Molinari.
Comical numbers like “Searchin’ ,” “Poison Ivy,” “Don Juan,” “D. W. Washburn,” “Yakety Yak,” and “Charlie Brown” are done with tongue-in-cheek humor and verve. Elvis is clearly in the house for tunes like “Hound Dog,” “Loving You” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
Romance is in the air with songs like “Treat Me Nice,” “Love Potion #9,” “There Goes My Baby” and “Spanish Harlem,” while tunes like “Teach Me How to Shimmy,” “Little Egypt,” and “I’m a Woman” capitalize on feminine strengths and skills.
The music team who wrote together for more than 50 years created hits for The Coasters, The Drifters, Ben E. King as well as for “the King” and many girl groups. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Let director Semina De Laurentis conduct this personal tour of Leiber and Stoller’s greatest hits.
For tickets ($25-42), call the Seven Angels Theatre, One Plank Road, Hamilton Park Pavilion, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at www.sevenangelstheatre.org. Performances are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
No plans yet for New Year’s Eve? Laugh in 2012 with Seven Angels when they bring in four New York comedians for two shows Saturday, December 31 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.. The second show includes appetizers and champagne. Call the box office for ticket information. Lower prices are available before December 1.
For the kids, think pink with “Pinkalicious,” a story about a little girl who learns a lesson about indulging in too much of a good thing. Shows are Thursday and Friday, December 1 and 2 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $8 for students and teachers and $10 for adults.
Be prepared to dance up and down the aisles of Seven Angels as this heavenly music takes wing.