Five Guys Named Moe

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Five Guys Named Moe
FiveGuysNamedMoe.JPG
Original Logo
MusicLouis Jordan
LyricsLouis Jordan
BookClarke Peters
Productions1990 West End
1992 Broadway
2002 Chicago Drury Lane South
2010 Edinburgh Festival
2014-15 Arena Stage and Cleveland Play House
2017 Off-West End
AwardsLaurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment

Five Guys Named Moe is a musical with a book by Clarke Peters and lyrics and music by Louis Jordan and others. The musical is based on an earlier musical short of the same name by Louis Jordan from 1943.[1] It had its UK debut in 1990 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, running for over four years in the West End, and then premiering on Broadway in 1992. It was revived in 2010 at Edinburgh Festival, starring Peters himself, and returned later in 2010 to the theatre in which it originally premiered. The musical won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment.

Nomax, whose girlfriend has left him and who is without money, finds Big Moe, Four-Eyed Moe, Eat Moe, No Moe, and Little Moe emerging from his 1930s-style radio to comfort him. They sing the hit songs of songwriter and saxophonist Louis Jordan, whose new slant on jazz paved the way for rock and roll in the 1950s.

Production history[edit]

The musical was originally presented at the Theatre Royal Stratford East by Philip Hedley as an in-house production. Cameron Mackintosh opened it on 14 December 1990 at London's West End Lyric Theatre.[2] The original Stratford East cast of Kenny Andrews, Paul J. Medford, Peter Alex Newton, Omar F. Okai, and Dig Wayne, were joined by Clinton Derricks-Carroll replacing Clarke Peters, all transferred with the production where it ran until 4 March 1995. It re-opened at the Albery Theatre on 25 May 1995 [3] where it was recorded for commercial DVD with the following cast: Tee Jaye Jenkins, Trent Kendall, Monroe Kent III (Nomax), Jason Pennycooke, Richard D. Sharp and Feruma Williams.[4] The production ran with this cast until 13 January 1996. There was a successful UK and European tour that followed under the Musical direction of Fiz Shapur.

The Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Charles Augins, opened on 8 April 1992 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for 445 performances and 19 previews. The cast included Jerry Dixon, Doug Eskew, Milton Craig Nealy, Kevin Ramsey, Jeffrey D. Sams, and Glenn Turner.

The "Moe" band was: Reginald Royal, piano; Luico Hopper, bass; Brian Kirk, drums; Reggie Pittman, trumpet & flugelhorn; Gregory Charles Royal, trombone; and Mark Gross, saxophone and clarinet.

Original cast recordings from both the London and Broadway productions were released.

In 1993, the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson in Los Angeles kicked off the first U.S. National tour. Doug Eskew and Milton Craig Nealy continued the roles they played on Broadway: Big Moe and Four-Eyed Moe, respectively. Keith Tyrone, Jeffrey Polk and Kevyn Bracket, joined the cast as No Moe, Little Moe and Eat Moe. The production opened on July 15, 1993 at the James A. Doolittle Theatre on the campus of UCLA. The subsequent tour included stops in [need more tour stop info] Cincinnati, OH at the Taft Theatre (January 18-23, 1994).[5]

In 2002 a "Theater in the Round" production was mounted at the Drury Lane South Theatre in Chicago, IL. Directed by Marc Robin and starring Sean Blake (No Moe), John Steven Crowley (Big Moe), Anthony Pierre Christopher (Little Moe), Parrish Collier (Four-Eyed Moe) and Byron Glenn Willis (Eat Moe) with Nikkieli Dimone as Nomax. The production earned two Joseph Jefferson Nominations in the Director and Ensemble categories.

The 2010 Edinburgh Festival/West End production, directed by Paulette Randall and starring Clarke Peters himself as Nomax, as well as Ashley Campbell, Christopher Colquhoun, Carlton Connell, Paul Hazel and Horace Oliver as the Moes opened on 5 August 2010.

During the 2014-15 season, a new, re-imagined production was co-produced by Arena Stage and Cleveland Play House. This production featured the five Moes as 21st century musicians and a slightly modernized musical arrangement. The production ran November 14 - December 28, 2014 at Arena Stage and January 23 - February 15, 2015 in Cleveland Play House's Allen Theatre. The production was directed by Robert O'Hara.

Following a run in 2016 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a London Off-West End revival produced by Underbelly Productions in association with Cameron Mackintosh, Steven Harris and Westminster Council ran from 14 September 2017 at the Marble Arch Theatre, a new pop-up venue in Marble Arch specifically designed for the production that reflected the 1940 New Orleans jazz bars. The venue was originally stopped from opening in Victoria Embankment due to criticism from neighbours.[6]

From September 7 to October 8, 2017, Court Theatre in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood mounted a production featuring James Earl Jones II, Darrian Ford, Lorenzo Rush Jr., Kelvin Roston Jr., Eric Andrew Lewis, and Stephen Allen, directed by Ron OJ Parson with music direction by Abdul Hamid Royal.[7][8]

Song list[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original London production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1991 Laurence Olivier Award Best Entertainment Won
Best Actor in a Musical Paul J. Medford Nominated
Best Director of a Musical Charles Augins Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Won

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1992 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Book of a Musical Clarke Peters Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Five Guys Named Moe (1943) listing on IMDB IMDB.com, accessed 5 September 2012
  2. ^ Five Guys Named Moe listing at the Lyric Theatre thisistheatre.com, accessed 9 July 2009
  3. ^ Five Guys Named Moe listing, Noel Coward Theatre (formerly the Albery Theatre thisistheatre.com, accessed 9 July 2009
  4. ^ Kingston, Jeremy (29 May 1995). "Treading the familiar waters of the Jordan". The Times. (Features section)
  5. ^ DRAKE, SYLVIE (1993-07-16). "Theater Reviews : 'Five Guys Named Moe': Thin Book, Huge Party". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  6. ^ "Clarke Peters' Five Guys Named Moe to open in new theatre". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  7. ^ "Five Guys Named Moe at Court Theatre". Court Theatre. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  8. ^ Greene, Morgan. "Court completes casting for 'Five Guys Named Moe'". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-07-01.

External links[edit]