Leiber and Stoller aren't necessarily known for their work in country music, but from Mar. 16-April 4, country music star Pam Tillis will be lending her voice to the long-running Broadway production of Smokey Joe's Cafe.
Tillis is the daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis. Her most recent album, "Every Time," was released in June. She also recorded the song "Milk and Honey" on the "Prince of Egypt" Nashville recording. Tillis won the 1994 Country Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year and has received several Grammy nominations, three Platinum and three Gold records. Cafe will mark the singer's Broadway debut.
Original cast performers DeeLee Lively, Brenda Braxton, Pattie Darcy Jones, B.J. Crosby, Victor Trent Cook, Ken Ard, Adrian Bailey and Frederick B. Owens, plus Jerry Tellier, continue with the show.
Jerry Zaks directed this revue, which opened March 2, 1995 to mixed notices from critics. The show quickly became an audience favorite, and its continued success is a textbook example of the power of word of mouth.
Joey McKneely designed choreography for the nine-person ensemble cast. Some of the Leiber & Stoller songs featured are: "Kansas City," "Searchin'," "On Broadway," "I'm A Woman," "Poison Ivy," "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog." For more information on Smokey Joe's Cafe at the Virginia Theatre call (212) 239-6200 or check out their website at http://www.smokeyjoescafe.com .
-- By Robert Simonson and Christine Ehren