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'Smokey Joe's Cafe' Opens At WCSU In Danbury

Pictured L-R are Ryan Naso, of Stamford, as Frederick; Myles Tripp, of West Haven, as Victor; Margaret Buzak, of Bethel, as Pattie; and Corinne Marshall, of Prospect, as BJ.
Pictured L-R are Ryan Naso, of Stamford, as Frederick; Myles Tripp, of West Haven, as Victor; Margaret Buzak, of Bethel, as Pattie; and Corinne Marshall, of Prospect, as BJ. Photo Credit: Peggy Stewart

DANBURY, Conn. – Western Connecticut State University’s spring 2015 theatre arts production, “Smokey Joe’s Café,” will open Wednesday, April 15, in the Studio Theatre in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

Broadway’s longest-running musical revue, “Smokey Joe’s Café,” features a red-hot evening of rock ’n’ roll and rhythm and blues standards by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Included will be audience favorites such as “Yakety Yak,” “I'm a Woman,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “Hound Dog,” “Poison Ivy,” “Love Potion #9,” “There Goes My Baby” and “Stand By Me.”

The original Broadway cast recording, “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller,” won a Grammy award for Best Musical Show Album in 1996.

A live, five-piece band led by WCSU Adjunct Instructor of Theatre Arts Tom Cuffari will be positioned high above the audience. Depending upon where they are seated, audience members will be pulled up to dance with the cast. Those who do not wish to participate in the action should select row seating and avoid the bistro tables and chairs.

The WCSU cast includes D’Jarious Allen, of Brooklyn, N.Y., as Adrian; Lauren Bell, of Southbury, as DeLee; Ryan Naso, of Stamford, as Frederick; Corinne Lynette Marshall, of Prospect, as BJ; Willie Marte, of Danbury, as Ken; Vanessa Knowlton, of Stafford Springs, as Brenda; Myles Tripp, of West Haven, as Victor; Margaret Buzak, of Bethel, as Pattie; and Eric Joseph Gomez, of Prospect, as Michael.

Featured dancers and understudies will be Mark-Anthony Hamblin, of Waterbury, and Alexa Haynes, of Little Hocking, Ohio. The dance captain/female swing is Emily Gray, of Southington, with Manuel Torres of West Haven, as male swing.

Showtimes are:

  • Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 17 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 19 at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday April 26 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for the public and $15 for seniors and non-WCSU students, plus fees.

To purchase tickets, visit the WCSU website here or call 203-837-TIXX.

The Studio Theatre is in the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Ext., Danbury.

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