June 18, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

PSST! Season Continues With Opening of Leiber and Stoller Musical Revue

VALDOSTA — Peach State Summer Theatre will kick off a 10-performance run of the wildly popular musical revue “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 20. Tickets are on sale now.

“Smokey Joe’s Café” features 38 songs written by American songwriting and record-producing partners Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, either as a duo or in collaboration with other artists. There is no real unifying theme to the show. Rather, the songs are presented by a nine-member cast in various combinations and without dialogue and include such favorites as “Charlie Brown,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Hound Dog,” “Yakety Yak,” “Kansas City,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “There Goes My Baby.”

“Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, as much as anyone, virtually invented rock 'n' roll,” according to a Peach State Summer Theatre synopsis, “and now their songs provide the basis for an electrifying entertainment that illuminates a golden age of American culture.

“Their songs were recorded by Big Mama Thornton, Elvis Presley, and The Drifters, among others. Set in an idealized setting, ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ features the classic themes of love won, lost, and imagined, blended with hilarious set pieces and slice-of-life emotions.

“… ‘Smokey Joe's Café’ isn't just great pop music; it's compelling musical theatre.”

“Smokey Joe’s Café” celebrated its world premiere from November 1994 to January 1995 at the Doolittle Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif. It opened on Broadway on March 2, 1995, at the Virginia Theatre in New York City, closing on Jan. 16, 2000, following a 2,036-performance run, making it the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. 

Individual tickets for all Peach State Summer Theatre productions are $25 for adults and $20 for children, students, and senior citizens, plus a $1.50 processing fee and sale tax. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays and can be reached by calling (229) 259-7770.

Peach State Summer Theatre, or PSST!, is Valdosta’s premiere professional summer stock theatre. Each summer, dozens of singers, dancers, technicians, managers, and creators gather on the Valdosta State University campus for 10 weeks, during which time they rehearse, build, and present three musicals in rotating repertory.

The 2014 Peach State Summer Theatre season marks the 25th year of VSU producing professional theatre for the city of Valdosta, the state of Georgia, and beyond. From 1990 to 2004, VSU produced the Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival. In 2005, the summer theatre program was relocated to the university and renamed PSST!

The Georgia Legislature designated Valdosta State’s summer stock theatre program the Official Musical Theatre of the State of Georgia.

VSU’s Jacque Wheeler serves as the artistic director of Peach State Summer Theatre. H. Duke Guthrie is the managing director.

The 2014 Peach State Summer Theatre season kicked off on June 6 with the opening of “Mary Poppins.” The third and final show in the lineup, “42nd Street,” will open on Friday, June 27. The three shows will be presented in rotating repertory through the weekend of July 26-27 in Sawyer Theatre, which is located on the first floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building at the corner of Oak Street and Brookwood Drive.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/arts/communication-arts/peach-state-summer-theatre/ to learn more.

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NOTE: “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller” is rated PG and is presented in two acts with one 15-minute intermission.