London Smokey Joe's Cafe, Featuring "Over the Rainbow" Semi-Finalist Fearon, Opens July 20

News   London Smokey Joe's Cafe, Featuring "Over the Rainbow" Semi-Finalist Fearon, Opens July 20 Steph Fearon, who was a semi-finalist in BBC1's "Over the Rainbow" star-search show to find a Dorothy for Andrew Lloyd Webber's forthcoming production of The Wizard of Oz, stars in a London fringe revival of Smokey Joe's Café, which officially opens July 20.

Previews for the five-week run began July 13, and performances will continue through Aug. 22 at Clapham's Landor Theatre.

The production is directed and choreographed by Mykal Rand, and the cast also includes Marc Akinfolarin, Miguel Angel, Edward Baruwa, Simon Hardwick, Ngo Ngofa and Philippa Stefani. It is produced by Thomas Hopkins for The Landor Theatre, Sue Vaccaro and Ricky Stevens in association with Danielle Tarento.

Smokey Joe's Café originally premiered on Broadway in 1995 and was subsequently seen at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre in 1996. It showcases 39 pop standards, all written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, including "On Broadway," "Jailhouse Rock," "Stand By Me" and "I'm a Woman." According to press materials, Leiber and Stoller "as much as anyone virtually invented rock 'n' roll"; and now their songs provide the basis for an entertainment that illuminates a golden age of American culture, in an idealized 1950's setting."

Fearon's previous professional credits include appearances in Little Shop of Horrors (national tour), Whistle Down the Wind (Aldwych) and The Wind in the Willows (Open Air Theatre), and Channel 4's "As If" and ITV's "My Parents are Aliens."

Rand has just returned from working on a tour in New Zealand of Starlight Express as associate director, associate choreographer and playing the role of Electra. He has also performed in the show in London, Germany, Japan and on a U.K. tour, where he was also resident director. Parts played include Rusty, Poppa and Electra. He was also in the original West End run of Rent at the Shaftesbury Theatre, understudying and playing the role of Tom Collins on numerous occasions. He also played the role at the Olympia Theatre Dublin, the U.K. tour, and in a new production at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, which he also choreographed. Producer Thomas Hopkins produced the William Finn song cycle Make Me A Song at The New Players Theatre London; Mathilde, a new musical directed by Simon Callow performed in concert at the Edinburgh festival and in a staged reading at The Vaudeville Theatre; and the critically acclaimed production of Kurt & Sid at The Trafalgar Studios starring British film star Danny Dyer. He is also producing Empire, a new musical by Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull, that will be directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely and is scheduled to open in the West End in 2010. He is executive producer of the Landor Theatre, and most recently produced the tenth anniversary production of Vincent River, starring Nicola Duffett and Elliott Jordan.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7737 7276, or visit www.landortheatre.co.uk.

The cast of <i>Smokey Joe's Caf</i>
The cast of Smokey Joe's Caf
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