Smokey Joe's Cafe
Broadway in your Livingroom!

Next Sunday will be the airing of Smokey Joe's Cafe on pay-per-view cable television. While I'm sure many of you know that, and some even question why they picked this revue, rather than more appealing material, I hope you'll be watching. I can't answer why they picked this particular show, but I can tell you why I find it important to tune in.

Broadway is a very small cottage industry where everyone knows eveyone else. Just look at the Web. We are all familiar with the dot com theatre websites and the people who run them. However big the Broadway family of readers of these sites on the Web is, most do not live in the environs of the Great White Way. Smokey Joe's Cafe is an opportunity to be there for anyone, anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. It's done very well as I've written about 3 columns back. Aside from that, the real reason to tune in is to support the Broadway community so that in the future we'll have more programs like this. Who knows, maybe someday it'll be Ragtime?

One of the biggest problems I have with the Broadway community is that there is really no sense of unity. Each part of the business is unto itself. Everyone does their own thing, from actors to agents, from producers to choreographers. Even on the Web there seems to be a rivalry between Broadway websites. I think it's great that we have a wealth of sites where we can get information about our passionate love of theatre instantly. Perhaps, because this site isn't a corporate site I feel differently than the other Web owners.

Only on "All That Chat" and "On The Boards" can banners be placed on Talkin' Broadway. And those people who have placed banners there are part of the Broadway community and are very important to Talkin' Broadway. And yes, I'll endorse them with, perhaps a Rialto column, or a plug here and there. Why not? They help pay the rent around here and one hand washes the other. We recently turned down a nice lucrative deal for a banner. Why? The product or service had nothing to do with Broadway. In short, it wasn't for the Broadway community.

And I'll endorse those who don't have banners if I feel they're doing something good. Bruce Kimmel just opened Fynsworth Alley on the Web. Maybe he'll advertise in the future but that's not important. What is important right now is that he is producing CD's again. He's just released a Sondheim album which is eagerly being snapped up at his website (available in stores February, 2001). For those who order the Sondheim CD on the website, they'll be getting an extra rare track which will not be on the store version. And he also has other CD's available. It's his 107th album to date that he's produced. And it's important to support this new label in the same way that we should support Smokey Joe's Cafe. If we don't, well, you know what will happen.

Almost 4 years ago I started this Website with 2 goals in mind, the first, of course, was to write Broadway 101, now written by Robert Rusie, as resource material for students, and to publish my short stories. The other was to provide a place for people to discuss Broadway and interact, a place where the Broadway community would become one. Both of those goals have been achieved.

And so I support Smokey Joe's Cafe (BTN) because they are part of the Broadway family. Who knows, maybe they'll buy a banner next time. ;)

Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller is Broadway Television Network's (BTN) premiere presentation of the final performance of the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. They gathered together the original cast and taped the performance at the Virginia Theatre, and on Sunday, September 10 at 9 PM (EST) you'll be able to tune in for $24.95.

The revue features 40 classic rock n' roll hits of the 50's and 60's. Some of the songs are "Fools Fall in Love," "Hound Dog," "I'm a Woman," "Jailhouse Rock," "Poison Ivy," "Stand by Me," "Treat Me Nice," "Yakety Yak," and many others.

It's next Sunday, September 10th, and don't forget to tune in 1/2 hour before for the pre show live from Times Square hosted by Tony Orlando and Deborah Gibson. Check your local cable listings for more information.


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