Directed and choreographed by Jeffrey Polk, the production will officially open Dec. 13. Leiber and Stoller will attend and will be honored during the opening-night performance. The production is scheduled to continue through Jan. 4, 2009.
The cast is headed by Tony nominees Robert Torti (Starlight Express) and DeLee Lively (Smokey Joe's Café) with Sharon Catherine Blanks (formerly Sharon Brown), T.C. Carson, Jackie Seiden, Maceo Oliver, Dionne Figgins, John Woodard III and Niles Rivers.
The production also features musical direction by Daryl Archibald and lighting design by Brendan Grevatt. Chris Murry is the production stage manager, and Heather Lee is the production coordinator.
Smokey Joes Café premiered on Broadway March 2, 1995, at the Virginia Theatre and was nominated for seven Tony Awards including Beat Musical. The New York production closed on January 16, 2000, after 2,036 performances.
The El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA. For tickets and more information call (818) 508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.