Smokey & Me: A Celebration of Smokey Robinson
The story goes that the legendary singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson, a founder of Motown and one of the producers of Motown: The Musical, went backstage on opening night to look for Charl Brown, the handsome young actor who portrayed him in the show. When he found him, Robinson simply smiled and said, “Hello, Me!”
Brown, who won a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Robinson, was inspired by the story to put together a show celebrating the life, music and career of the acclaimed singer/songwriter whom Bob Dylan once described as “America’s greatest living poet.” Robinson’s career spans more than four decades and includes songs like “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “My Girl,” “I Second that Emotion” and “Tracks of My Tears.” Robinson has received numerous awards, including Grammy’s Living Legend, an Honorary Doctorate from Howard University, Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts Award from the president of the United States and the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for his lifetime contributions to popular music. He is a member of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Charl Brown, a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts, appeared on Broadway in Jersey Boys and in the original cast of Sister Act before he was tapped to play Robinson in Motown: The Musical. He reprised the role on London’s West End and also appeared off-Broadway in Walmartopia. Brown perfectly captures the essence of the singer as he celebrates Robinson’s life from his beginnings in Detroit to the singer and songwriter who wrote some of popular music’s most enduring hits. Brown sings them all, both the ones Robinson wrote and the ones he sang.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a legendary star and hear a rising one. “Ooh, Baby,” …it’s going to be a night to remember. Don’t miss a minute.