“Smokey Joe’s Café” to be performed at Frost Fire Summer Theater

Get ready to spend some time rocking and rolling at this year’s Frost Fire Musical, “Smokey Joe’s Café.”


Posted on 6/28/14

This song-infused performance will have the audience swaying to the beat of classics like, “On Broadway,” “Hound Dog,” Jailhouse Rock,” “Stand By Me,” “Spanish Harlem,” Love Potion #9,” “Yakety Yak” and “I’m a Woman.”

This Grammy winning and Tony-nominated musical was the longest running musical revue on Broadway and is sure to be a crowd pleaser for those who take in the show at Frost Fire.

Opening on July 2 and running Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays through July 30, guests will get to experience the songs and sights as a cast of nine performers bring the stage to life.

Director Darren Kerr said, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe is a high-energy romp through the classic songs of legendary songwriters and producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Leiber and Stoller earned their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with such songs as “Hound Dog,” “Yakety Yak,” “Poison Ivy,” “Charlie Brown,” “Stand by Me,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” The show takes the audience on a tour through these hits and more, guided by a talented cast of nine, including myself; music director Luke Hoplin; returning Frost Fire performers Daniella Lima, Jordan Thornberg, and Heather Williams; and Frost Fire newcomers Kirsten Crockett, Ruben Flores, Ryan Jones, and Justine Pulec. Cast members hail not only from our region but also from as far away as Ohio.”

Kerr has been a mainstay for productions for the past 18 years. His first show was “Paint Your Wagon,” and he has appeared in “Les Miserables” as Javert, “Fiddler on the Roof” as Tevye, “Oklahoma” as Jud and was Johnny Cash in “Ring of Fire.” He will direct in place of long-time directors, David & Amy Paukert, who are taking some time off.

“I’ve directed at Frost Fire before (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), so when the producers asked me whether I’d be interested, I was happy to say yes. I’m thrilled to be able to bring this fantastic music to audiences of all ages through the work of these talented performers (including our wonderful band). I’m also particularly excited to feature the work of our fabulous choreographer, UND Theatre Arts faculty member Ali Angelone. She brings a great energy to the material,” Kerr said.

During the year, Kerr is an Assistant Professor of Humanities and Integrated Studies at the University of North Dakota.

Beyond the experience that Kerr and Angelone will bring to the show, this musically based performance will have Luke Hoplin as the musical director. This year the musical pit will have just as much of a role in the production as the actors and actresses on stage.

Because of the success in the past, performers are confident this year’s production will be just as successful. Owners and operators of Frost Fire, Judith and Richard Johnson strive to put on the best experience possible for their many guests including those partaking in the bus tours that bring them to Frost Fire each year.

When asked who this musical is for, Kerr replied, “Anyone who enjoys great singing, fun dancing, and a little of that old-time rock and roll, will love Smokey Joe’s Cafe!”

Performances are Wednesday and Sundays at 2 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $28 for adults and $12 for children. Grill menu, group tickets and Canadian rates are available by calling Frost Fire at 701-549-3600.

Spend part of your summer clapping, dancing and swaying to the beat at “Smokey Joe’s Café.”