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Smokey Joe's Cafe

I must admit I don't like to see these type of shows in London's theatre. This is because it isn't theatre, not even musical theatre it is in fact a 'Concert' and should be advertised as such. I didn't particularly like the singing voices of most of the company, and the songs I did like, they butchered. The dance routines were simple and not particularly exciting.

This show is without doubt only for fans of Leiber & Stoller or people who like this type of music. People who like musical theatre best stay away.

While I've said how much I didn't like this, I was in the minority in the audience. The theatre was packed and they all seemed to love it. I certainly felt out of place.

Life is strange, only the night before I was at the Playhouse theatre seeing 'A Doll's House' and behind me were four very loud Americans who were not enjoying the play and I heard one of them say "how awful this is, it is not as good as Smokey Joe's Cafe we saw last night, now that's real theatre". Which just goes to show, never rely on what others say about a play or musical, if the subject matter appeals to you go and see it. As for Smoky Joe's Cafe, you'll never get me back to that theatre while it is still playing, but there were plenty in the audience that will.

(Darren Dalglish)

Originally published on

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