On stage now at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is Smokey Joe’s Café. The song and dance trip barrels like an express train through the 1950’s and 60’s. There’s barely time to breathe and clap as the talent-packed cast peppers us with over 40 hits
from the guys who arguably invented popular rock & roll – songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
And just announced, the new season at the Arts Center looks like the most popular selection of plays yet. Proven hits, like Dreamgirls and Lend Me A Tenor, and classics like How To Succeed In Business, are joined by the funniest and most original new Broadway work, like The Drowsy Chaperone.
A year from now we’ll be enjoying Shout! The Mod Musical, a show that Time Out New York said, “ . . . rivals Jersey Boys for sheer fun,” and
does for the British invasion what Smokey Joe does for the dawn of rock, rhythm and blues.
Few cities our size in the world have a presenting theater, and the Arts Center gives Hilton Head so much more than that. It’s virtually a pipeline to Broadway. Since Broadway veterans and young pros alike enjoy working on Hilton Head Island, the Arts Center often leaves visitors wondering why they don’t see yellow cabs outside instead of palm trees after a performance.
Most audience members are visitors to the Island, so the Arts Center is one of our most gracious hosts, too. You can be confident of a relaxing evening and a top-notch theater experience all at once.
Right now it’s a good idea to call 843-842-2787 and book your tickets to Smokey Joe’s Café. A lot of shows have claimed to be “a walk down memory lane,” but the Arts Center’s original set starts Smokey Joe right there in the neighborhood. Not the neighborhood we all grew up in, but the one we all inherited when we listened to hits like Kansas City, On Broadway and The Rose of Spanish Harlem.
The evening puts us in touch with how much we held in common when Americans
from small towns to big cities all were listening to Searchin’, Poison Ivy, Love Potion #9, I’m A Woman and Jailhouse Rock. It was new, it was a little naughty, it was not exactly what our parents wanted for us – but it united young folks in a way the world had never seen before.
It’s worth revisiting – even for just an evening. Enjoy Smokey Joe’s Café at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. And come back for that delicious new season!