Cast members from Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller—seen most recently Off-Broadway in 2018—have come together to perform "Stand By Me," the show's finale. The performance is in honor of, and in solidarity with, the Black Lives Matter movement and most recent cries for racial justice and equality.
“Smokey Joe’s Cafe was so important to us," says Jelani Remy, who performs in the video. "Our show celebrated and embraced us as individuals. Color was never a barrier, nor was gender or political preference. Watching events unfold, we all felt like we needed to contribute to the movement: To have our music speak when there is global loss for words.”
Also featured in the video are John Edwards, Alysha Umphress, Dwayne Cooper, Emma Degerstedt, Kyle Taylor Parker, Bronwyn Tarboton, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Dionne Figgins, Max Sangerman, and Antoinette Comer.
The show’s director and choreographer, Joshua Bergasse, and associate choreographer, Alison Solomon, make brief cameos in the video, which is edited by Matt Simpkins and audio edited by Ian Kagey.
"Although our beautiful Off-Broadway production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe is no more, our wonderful cast has created this lasting memory to remind us to stand together in hard times," reads a statement from Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, and Tom Viertel on behalf of the producers and managers of Smokey Joe's Care. "We fully support the goals of Black Lives Matter and other grassroots organizations, and look forward to incorporating many of the recent concrete proposals for action into our future endeavors. We have made a contribution to G.L.I.T.S. on behalf of the Smokey Joe’s company and hope that you'll join us in supporting this important cause."
Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller celebrates the music of songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The most recent revival ran Off-Broadway at Stage 42 in 2018.