The Theatre of the Big Bend celebrates rock and roll with its 53rd season summer musical, Smokey Joe’s Café.  The musical revue opened last weekend and thrilled audiences with the celebration of classic rock and roll tunes.  Performances will continue to be held weekends, July 13-29, in the Kokernot Outdoor Theatre with the curtain going up at 8:15 p.m.

Directed by Dona W. Roman, Sul Ross State University professor of theatre, Smokey Joe’s Café features 40 songs by the prolific songwriting team, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  Songs include Hound Dog, Kansas City, Ruby Baby, Poison Ivy, and Yakety Yak.

“This is the music I grew up with,” says Roman.  “These were the hits playing on the radio when I came home from school, and I even watched the original groups perform on TV shows like Hullabaloo, Shindig, and American Bandstand.

“Opening weekend audiences raved about the musical revue, sang, clapped, and thoroughly enjoyed how well the tunes flowed together,” she added. 

Musical direction is provided by Donald Callen Freed, Sul Ross professor of music, and guest artist Ruben Gutierrez.  The revue is choreographed by Marjorie Scott, assistant professor of communication and theatre.

Tickets are on sale at or call 432-837-8218.

The cast and band of Smokey Joe’s Café surround guest artist Ruben Gutierrez (seated at piano).  (Photo by Diff Torres)