Oct 15, 2018
Legendary Composer Mike Stoller Attends SMC Production of “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller”
SANTA MONICA, CA—The Santa Monica College (SMC) production of “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller” had a very special guest in the audience at an 8 p.m. performance on Saturday, October 13. Mike Stoller—the composer who formed, with Jerry Leiber (April 25, 1933 – August 22, 2011), the legendary duo of Leiber and Stoller—attended the rock-and-roll musical revue presented by SMC’s Theatre Arts and Music departments.
The show ran October 5-14 in the Theatre Arts Main Stage on the SMC main campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.
Stoller praised the quality of the students’ performance. Later, at a private reception sponsored by Pat and Sandy Gage, he interacted with the SMC students/cast members and crew in a Q&A, answering questions about his career with Leiber, inspiration for various songs, and collaboration with co-writers and artistes such as Ben E. King, Elvis Presley, and Phil Spector.
With words and music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Smokey Joe’s Café brings to life the songs of the legendary hitmakers in a rock-and-roll musical revue packed with memorable tunes like “Hound Dog,” “On Broadway,” and “Stand By Me.” The SMC production was directed by Perviz Sawoski, with music direction by Gary Gray. “Smokey Joe’s Café” is the longest-running revue in Broadway history.
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Legendary composer Mike Stoller—who formed one half of the hitmaker duo Leiber and Stoller—attended a Saturday, October 13 performance of “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller” at Santa Monica College. Seen here with wife and renowned jazz musician Corky Hale, Stoller takes questions from the SMC cast and crew at a private reception after the performance.
Mike Stoller answers questions about his life, career and collaborations at a private reception on the Santa Monica College main campus Saturday, Oct. 13.
Mike Stoller (center) with the 19-member SMC cast of “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller”. The SMC production was directed by Theatre Arts Department Chair Perviz Sawoski (to Stoller’s right) and music direction was by Gary Gray.
SMC Interior Design Major and “Smokey Joe’s Café” Cast member Laurence Guillermo poses with his copy of “Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography”, signed by Mike Stoller (all SMC cast and crew members received an autographed copy).
Mike Stoller speaks to the audience at the SMC Theatre Arts Main Stage before the 8 p.m. Saturday, October 13 performance of “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller”.
SMC students and “Smokey Joe’s Café” cast/quartet members (bottom left to right) Deonte Allen, Nehemiah Harvey, Aaron Shepard, and (standing) Ellis Allen. (Photo Credit: Andrew Boone)
Elizabeth Orellana sings ‘Don Juan’ during the SMC production of “Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller.” The show ran October 5-14. (Photo Credit: Andrew Boone)
About Santa Monica College
Founded in 1929, Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For 27 consecutive years, SMC has been California’s leader in transfers to UCLA, UC Berkeley, and other University of California campuses. The college also tops in transfers to the University of Southern California and Loyola Marymount University. More than 110 career training degrees and certificates at SMC offer professional preparation for students interested in directly entering the job market, transferring to a four-year school, or upgrading specific skills. SMC provides news and cultural enrichment through its NPR radio station KCRW (89.9 FM) and The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center as well as lifelong learning through distinctive programs such as its Emeritus Program for older adults.