Emmy winner and Tony nominee Joshua Bergasse to direct and choreograph ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ at the Ordway

Joshua Bergass

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts raised the curtain with a sneak peek of its 2019-2020 Broadway Series by announcing the all-new incarnation of the Grammy Award-winning, Tony Award-nominated, Broadway hit “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller.”

Joshua Bergasse, who won the Emmy for his choreography on NBC’s musical drama, “Smash,” will direct and choreograph the Ordway’s production by recreating the staging and choreography from the recent New York production. Bergasse’s credits also include Broadway’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “On the Town” as well as FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” Bergasse will be in the Twin Cities Dec. 19 – Dec. 21 for cast auditions.

Featuring 40 of the greatest songs of the past century including classics such as “On Broadway,” “Stand by Me,” and “Jailhouse Rock,” “Smokey Joe’s Café” made history as Broadway’s longest-running musical revue.

Rod Kaats, the Ordway’s producing artistic director calls this news an exciting sneak peek into our 2019-2020 Broadway season.

“The Ordway will be the only theater in the U.S. to have Bergasse’s production on its stage this season,” said Kaats.

Originally produced on Broadway in 1995, this contemporary production of “Smokey Joe’s Café” pays homage to the legendary songwriting team, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

During their partnership, which spanned 61 years, Leiber and Stoller left their mark in music genres including pop, country, jazz, cabaret, rhythm and blues and rock and roll. The duo was responsible for the Elvis Presley hits, “Loving You,” “Hound Dog,” along with “Jailhouse Rock.” They were also responsible for the Coasters’ hit songs such as “Searchin,” “Yakety Yak” and Charlie Brown.”

The Ordway’s full slate of shows for the 2019-2020 Broadway Series will be announced in February 2019.

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