Smokey Joe’s takes a step back in time

CCPA season finale brings cabaret to Oak Bay village

Lexy Young gives Forrest Elliot the heave-ho during Smokey Joe’s Cafe which runs April 16 to 25 at the CCPA Performance Hall on Elgin Street.

More than 60 voices will belt out beloved songs of the 1950s as some young artists celebrate and bid adieu to their Oak Bay training grounds with the season-ending Smokey Joe’s Cafe at CCPA.

Directed by Darold Roles, artistic director at Canadian College of the Performing Arts, the musical revue features the music of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

“Some people say they invented rock and roll. If they didn’t, they sure contributed a lot of awesome songs to it,” said Roles.

“What’s exciting about this show is that traditionally when we do our year-end show we go down to the McPherson (Theatre) and we divide our students in half,” said director Darold Roles.

Not this year.

This season finale marks a number of firsts. Their own rehearsal space on Elgin Road is transformed to host the cabaret-style show, they’ll run the production an entire two weeks and all 61 students are involved each and every night of performance.

“It’s a chance for all the Oak Bay residents to come out and see this huge mega production with 61 amazing voices and some really hot dancing,” Roles said.

Young performers working and living within our borders will twist and jive.

CCPA staff are near certain it’s the largest production Oak Bay’s seen. With so many voices to work with, songs will feature six- and eight-part harmony.

“You can’t afford that nowadays so that will be a treat,” Roles said. “We did some (of these) numbers with the symphony recently and the audience literally leapt to their feet … We’re expecting and hoping for a similar response.”

For some students it’s the apex of their days as students, their final days at CCPA offering anticipation and excitement that boost energy levels.

“These students are about to launch their careers across the country,” Roles said.

Splashy costumes and tuxedos always help with classics like Hound Dog, Love Potion #9, Jailhouse Rock and Yakity Yak.

“It’s going to bring back some wonderful memories for people. People are just going to have a wonderful trip down memory lane,” Roles said. “I guarantee a good time.”

Smokey Joe’s Cafe runs April 16 to 25, (with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays) at the CCPA Performance Hall. Showtimes and ticket price online at ccpacanada.com.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com