Cast Announced for Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller

Toya Stewart Downey, Ordway 6/21/19

Nine local performers feature in this all-new incarnation of the record-breaking Broadway hit, directed and choreographed by Emmy winner and Tony nominee Joshua Bergasse

Saint Paul, Minn. (June 21, 2019) — The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is excited to announce the cast of Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller, which begins performances on Sept. 10 and plays for 16 performances only through Sept. 22.

This Ordway Original production, the opening show of the 2019-2020 Broadway Series, features Ordway favorites Ben Bakken, China Brickey, Reese Britts and Dwight Leslie, all seen in the Ordway’s acclaimed production of Mamma Mia!, and Rendell DeBose, who appeared at the Ordway in Elf The Musical.

Making their Ordway debut are Rajané Katurah, Andrea Mislan, and Emily Scinto.

Rounding out the cast are Shavey Brown from the off-Broadway production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Kevin Brown, Jr. and Jorie Kosel, who are making their Twin Cities professional stage debuts. Casting by Sheena Janson Kelley in Saint Paul and Jason Styres, CSA in New York.

Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller is a Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated smash that features 40 of the greatest songs of the past century, including classics like “On Broadway,” “Stand by Me,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Love Potion No. 9.”

Directed and choreographed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Joshua Bergasse (Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and NBC’s Smash, Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and On the Town), this all-new incarnation of Broadway’s longest running musical revue is exclusive to the Ordway and won’t be seen anywhere else in America this season.

“I am so excited to have the chance to stage this iconic musical so soon after its off-Broadway run in New York. And getting the chance to re-create it first here at the Ordway, one of America’s most beautiful theaters, is especially thrilling,” said Bergasse. “This is my first time working in the Twin Cities, and I’m knocked out by the number of incredibly talented performers here.

“With their talents and the iconic music of Leiber and Stoller, come this September and even though the weather will be getting cooler, things at the Ordway are gonna be heating up!”

During their partnership, which spanned 61 years, songwriters Jerry Leiber (d. 2011) and Mike Stoller left their mark in music genres including pop, country, jazz, cabaret, rhythm and blues and rock and roll. The duo was responsible for the Elvis Presley hits, “Loving You,” “Hound Dog,” along with “Jailhouse Rock.” They were also responsible for the Coasters’ hit songs such as “Searchin,” “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown.”


Smokey Joe’s Cafe will perform September 10–22 in the Ordway Music Theater. Tickets are available on the Smokey Joe’s Cafe performance page or by phone at 651.224.4222.

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