News and Tribune

Education/Schools

September 26, 2013

Curtain call: Three big shows hit the stage at area high schools this weekend

JHS to be judged by international group

— Three high school theater productions open this weekend in Clark and Floyd counties, and Jeffersonville High School’s could get national recognition.

Judges from the International Thespian Society will judge “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” at JHS on Saturday night. If they score high marks, the show could be one of a few across the country to go to the International Thespian Festival next summer.

‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’

Boasting more than 30 songs and a script without spoken dialogue, the performers carry the whole show on music.

Patti Miller, director, said this is the first time in 13 years the school has been considered to go to the national festival, which will feature eight acts from across the country. She said she hopes the community packs the theater — especially on Saturday night when the judging will take place. Only eight productions across the U.S. are chosen to move on to the festival, Miller explained.

With an ensemble cast of 24, director Michael Howard said the cast is more close-knit than some of the larger casts he’s worked with. The show also features music performed by live musicians.

Smokey Joe’s Cafe, a coming-of-age tale from the teenage years in the neighborhood through life’s twists and unexpected turns into adulthood delivers universal appeal, according to a news release. Originally debuting in Chicago, Smokey Joe’s Cafe was one of Broadway’s longest running productions.

The Broadway revue — set in the late 1950s and early 1960s and based on the prolific songwriters Leiber and Stoller — takes the crowd to a retro, rock ‘n’ roll party. With a full-blown set, costume changes and a six-piece on-stage band — complete with a  jazzy sax — sounds will fill the JHS theater, according to a press release.

The show features the hits “Young Blood,” “Ruby,” “Kansas City,” “On Broadway,” “Yakety Yak,” “Hound Dog,” “Stand By Me” and more.

The show opened Thursday, but continues through the weekend.

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