Smokey Joe’s marks return to stage for society

20110302- Smokey Joe's Cafe. '''"Andy Thompson Photography",'"No use without payment",'"Tel: 07795437362" ,'"www.atimages.com" ,
20110302- Smokey Joe's Cafe. '''"Andy Thompson Photography",'"No use without payment",'"Tel: 07795437362" ,'"www.atimages.com" ,

AFTER a year’s absence Montrose Amateur Operatic Society is taking to the stage once again with its latest production, Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

The show celebrates the work of songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller who were in on the ground floor of rock and roll and together penned some of the best known and most popular songs of the 1950s and ‘60s.

With no actual connecting narrative, the production has a revue format and brings together 40 of the pair’s songs, which encapsulate a variety of themes as well as a number of novelty songs such as Charlie Brown and Yakety Yack.

The duo’s classic popular songs are also well represented by ‘Hound Dog’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘There Goes my Baby’ and ‘On Broadway’. Each flows in to the other, presented by different combinations of soloists and chorus members.

And with 40 numbers on the programme, musical director and director Colin Grant, choreographer Katie Burke and the cast themselves have had their work cut out to bring the production to life.

The show, which opens tonight (Wednesday) and runs until Saturday in the town hall, is a welcome return by the society which recently experienced a decline in membership, although it now numbers 20 highly enthusiastic members. For this production they have also been joined by members of the Gordon School of Dancing as backing dancers.

Membership secretary Sandy Kennedy said: “We’ve had an awful lot of support. We have friends who help us to build scenery and sets and although we have a small company of wonderful people we’d like to bring it up to around 30 to keep it comfortable.”

The show begins at 7.30pm and tickets are available now from Hogg’s on the High Street. Primary and secondary school pupils can also take advantage of half price tickets if they attend on Wednesday or Thursday.