Perhaps the best thing that ever happened to Smokey Joe's Cafe, pop singer Gladys Knight returns the Leiber and Stoller revue Aug. 17-29. She first appeared in the show May 11-22, 1999.
Knight led the pop vocal group "the Pips" throughout the '60s and '70s, scoring such hits as "Midnight Train to Georgia," "Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Use My Imagination" and "You're the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me."
Jerry Zaks directed the revue, which opened March 2, 1995, and became the longest running musical revue in Broadway history June 2 with 1,775 performances. Joey McKneely designed choreography for the nine-person ensemble cast.
Some of the Leiber & Stoller songs featured are: "Kansas City," "Fools Fall in Love'," "On Broadway," "I'm A Woman," "Poison Ivy," "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog."
Smokey Joe's 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. Matt Bogart (The Civil War) recently replaced Jerry Tellier who, in turn, replaced original cast member Michael Park Sept. 9, 1997. 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 .