Don't hold your breath waiting for the titular song in "Smokey Joe's Cafe," opening Friday at Stars Theatre Restaurant. Although that number only appears in instrumental form as transition music, this revue of Jerry Leiber's and Mike Stoller's greatest hits has plenty of toe-tapping tunes to keep you happy.
That set list, featuring dozens of hits, includes "Hound Dog," "Stand By Me," "Jailhouse Rock," "Love Potion #9," "On Broadway," "Fools Fall In Love," "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown" and "Saved."
Brenda Baldwin, who handled vocal direction and shared overall directing duties with show choreographer Brent Rochon, said she'd been intrigued by the show since seeing numbers featured during a Tony Awards broadcast in the 1990s.
She wrote in an email, "Just recently I came to believe we finally had the talent pool to do the show justice … and I was right!"
A cast of eight powerful singers brings the show to life. Performers are Riordan Banks, Caley Mayhall, Mason Edwards, Cody Garcia, Nicole Heasley, Kenneth Labron, Paul Robinson and Bethany Rowlee.
Rochon and Baldwin, who have lent their talents to a number of Stars shows in the past, including "The Music Man," "Promises, Promises" and "Forbidden Broadway: Greatest Hits," are happy to team up again.
Baldwin said, "We really do bring out the creative best in each other."
Along with a hard-working crew and talented cast, Baldwin praised the outstanding band consisting of pianist/conductor Brock Christian, David Collins on keyboard, drummer Brad Briscoe, Mark Meyer on saxophone, guitarist Jeff Ardrey and Adam Clements on bass.
Back to that toe tapping, Baldwin said she wants people to end the evening (or afternoon) happier than they started it.
"I hope the audience leaves the theatre 'lighter of spirit' with a smile on their face. Maybe even have a little more rhythm in their step."