Bolstered by the successful stints of Ben E. King, Lou Rawls, Pam Tillis, Tony Orlando and Gladys Knight, Broadway's long-running Smokey Joe's Cafe will continue adding celebrity guest stars to its roster throughout the summer. Lesley Gore, the teenaged hitmaker of "It's My Party" and "Judy's Turn To Cry" in the early 60s, arrives July 13-25, while the aforementioned Knight ("Midnight Train To Georgia") returns to the show Aug. 17-29.
Smokey Joe's Cafe -- The Songs of Leiber and Stoller played its 1,775 performance at the Virginia Theatre June 2, becoming the longest running musical revue in Broadway history. The previous record holder was Bob Fosse's Dancin' with 1,774 performances.
Almost as amazingly, the show, which opened back on March 2, 1995, currently features eight of its nine original cast members: Victor Trent Cook, B.J. Crosby, Brenda Braxton, DeLee Lively, Ken Ard, Adrian Bailey, Pattie Darcy Jones and Fred B. Owens. Four (Cook, Crosby, Braxton and Lively) were Tony nominated. Jerry Tellier replaced original cast member Michael Park Sept. 9, 1997.
The revue features some of Leiber & Stoller best known songs including "Kansas City," "Searchin'," "On Broadway," "I'm A Woman," "Poison Ivy," "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog."
-- By David Lefkowitz and Christine Ehren