Spokeswoman Judy Kneale insists that this does not constitute an 'early closing'. 'Smokey Joe's was booked to come into London for 16 weeks only,' Kneale told What's On Stage. 'So it's overrun by rather a lot actually.'
The plan was always to run the show for a limited time in London and then embark on a regional UK tour, Kneale said. The tour, featuring a new cast, was launched this week (9 September) in Sheffield. It is already confirmed for another 13 stops to the end of the year and is scheduled to continue throughout the country in 1999.
Smokey Joe's Cafe is inspired by the words and music of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. The song-writing duo played a major part in establishing American rock n' roll. The show features more than 40 of the duo's songs, many - such as 'Hound Dog', 'Jailhouse Rock', 'Stand By me' and 'Love Potion Number Nine' - made famous by popular artists including Elvis, Ben E. King, The Coasters and The Drifters.
The show, directed by Jerry Zaks, has also been playing at New York's Virginia Theatre since March 1995.
UK tour stops already scheduled include Bradford, High Wycombe, Belfast, Bristol, Plymouth, Southend, Coventry, Manchester, Aberdeen, Hull, Woking, Southampton and Malvern. For further information on the tour, call +44-891-222288.