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Smokey Joe’s Cafe extends run

Melanie La Barrie

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SMOKEY Joe’s Cafe has extended its run at the Landor Theatre by three weeks and is now booking until Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Melanie La Barrie, whose West End credits include Madame Thernardier in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre), Pearl in Daddy Cool (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Mrs Corry in Mary Poppins original cast (Prince Edward Theatre), has now joined the cast, replacing Kym Mazelle who left on Sunday, July 25.

Previously Posted: Kym Mazelle, one of the best-known disco divas of the late Eighties and early Nineties, will join Over the Rainbow‘s Stephanie Fearon in Smokey Joe’s Cafe, which runs at the Landor Theatre from July 20 (previews from July 13) to August 22, 2010.

However, because of prior commitments, Mazelle will only appear from Tuesday, July 13 to Sunday, July 25.

One of the earliest pioneers of Chicago House Music, Mazelle is now recognised as the “Queen of House Music”. Her numerous hit singles including Useless (I Don’t Want You Now) with fellow pioneer Marshall Jefferson; Wait, a duet with Dr Robert of the Blow Monkeys; Searching For the Golden Eye with Motiv8; and Missing You, an international hit with Jazzie B and Soul II Soul, a group that she toured the world with.

Another hit, No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) with fellow diva Jocelyn Brown, was produced by Simon Cowell. And her cover version of Young Hearts Run Free was featured on the six-times platinum film soundtrack of Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, which was nominated for a US Grammy.

Mazelle also starred in both the West End and UK tour of the Ray Charles musical celebration, I Can’t Stop Loving You, and took part in ITV’s Celebrity Fit Club, losing two stone during the course of the programme.

Previously Posted: Stephanie Fearon, semi-finalist in BBC1’s Over The Rainbow, will star in the first major revival of the musical Smokey Joe’s Cafe since its West End run at the Prince of Wales in 1996.

A musical revue showcasing 39 pop standards written by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Smokey Joe’s Cafe runs at the Landor Theatre from July 20 (previews from July 13) to August 22, 2010.

The rock and roll, rhythm and blues numbers that include On Broadway, Jailhouse Rock, Stand By Me and I’m a Woman, provide the basis for what is described as an electrifying entertainment that illuminates a golden age of American culture in an idealized 1950’s setting.

The cast also includes Marc Akinfolarin, Miguel Angel, Edward Baruwa, Simon Hardwick, Ngo Ngofa and Philippa Stefani.

Fearon, who competed for the role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s forthcoming production of The Wizard of Oz, has previously appeared on stage in The Little Shop of Horrors (national tour), Whistle Down the Wind (Aldwych Theatre) and The Wind in the Willows (Open Air Theatre). Her television credits include As If and My Parents Are Aliens.

Presented by Thomas Hopkins for The Landor Theatre, Sue Vaccaro and Ricky Stevens in association with Danielle Tarento, Smokey Joe’s Cafe is directed and choreographed by Mykal Rand.

Tickets: £20, £10 previews – available from the box office on 020 7737 7276 or at www.landortheatre.co.uk

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm.