Opening night for "Smokey Joe's Cafe" at Ardmore Little Theatre

By: Kristen Shanahan Email
By: Kristen Shanahan Email

ARDMORE, OK -- Hundreds showed up for the opening night for a big show at the Ardmore Little Theatre. The performance is called "Smokey Joe's Cafe". It's a musical review show-casing popular hits from the 50s and 60s. Some of the numbers include songs like "Stand by Me" and "Jail House Rock". Ardmore Little Theatre has been around for many years, and many say it holds a special spot in the heart of the community.

Performer and Board Member of Ardmore Little Theatre Joel Wellnitz says the theatre's been around since the 1950's, and is an important part of the community.

"It improves the quality of life in Ardmore, and in Southern Oklahoma. We have people travel a hundred miles or more to see our productions," Wellnitz said.

The theatre seats more than 300 people, and Marie West took one of those seats to watch and join in on the fun during tonight's show. She says she always enjoys coming out to the theatre.

"We just appreciate the people the effort they do put into the plays and all, you know, because it seems like they really enjoy it themselves," West said.

Dickson High School senior Beth Goodin says theatre and music are two of her passions, and she thinks the Ardmore's Little Theatre gives people a little taste of what talent and diverse arts there are in the world.

"This is a huge part of Ardmore in the way, like, Ardmore doesn't really get to experience the arts as much as we could, but this is a great way to get musicals out there and have generation after generation introduced to theatre," Goodin said.

Wellnitz says "Smokey Joes Cafe" will go on through this Sunday, and hopes for every seat to be filled. He also says there's a lot more shows they have scheduled to look forward to.

To find out more about Little Ardmore Theatre and its shows visit their website at

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