Smokey Joe’s Cafe is Now Serving the West Burbs

Just like my love of movies, I’ve been a fan of theatre productions for a very long time. Some would say the big “projective” voice I have now is due to a very good New Orleans drama teacher named Mrs. Chance & a certain 7th grade production of Hello Dolly. 🙂

Drury Lane Theatre, on Roosevelt Road in Oakbrook Terrace, is in it’s 32nd year of entertaining audiences in Chicago’s western suburbs. Earlier this season at the Theatre & Conference Center, I was also able to catch Hazel in April & Deathtrap in June. The spring performance was a Broadway-worthy comedy about a nanny bringing a family together during the Cold War. The summer show was dark comedy about a neurotic writer twisting his plot lines on-paper & on-stage.

(Photo: Jonathan West / US99)

(Photo: Jonathan West / US99)

Last week, I was able to see a revival of Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Drury Lane. The longest running Broadway musical in history, which was nominated for 7 Tony Awards & won an Grammy in 1995/96, is a total sing-a-long boasting 39 songs seamlessly performed on-stage. Many have been great radio hits like Elvis‘ “Jailhouse Rock” & “Treat Me Nice”, Ben E. King‘s “Stand By Me” & “Spanish Harlem”, “Love Potion #9” by The Searchers, & “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton.

Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge sets the stage & takes you back to Chicago’s Maxwell Street in the late 1950’s with local signs & decor. Besides the great 5 piece band as your soundtrack, noteworthy performances go to Donica Lynn & Meghan Murphy. Lynn, who plays the cafe owner Willie Mae, can absolutely wail & I’ve had a crush on the tall red-headed Murphy since her Springtime role in Hazel.

Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones gave it a glowing review…& so do I:

🎭  🎭  🎭  🎭 out of 5 Shakespeare masks!

More show info HERE & also see my recent movie reviews HERE.

More from Jonathan West

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