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'Five Guys Named Moe' Comes To The Skylight

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Lila Aryan
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The cast pose around Lanette Costas (Choreographer) and Malkia Stampley (Stage Director)

When Five Guys Named Moe opened in London in 1990, it gave audiences a chance to hear or reacquaint themselves with the music of Louis Jordan — a mix of blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and even rock and roll. He earned the nickname “The King of the Jukebox" and was famous in his lifetime for songs such as Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby and G.I. Jive. As an African-American, he was successful in crossing over and reaching white audiences at a time that was relatively rare.

"We're asking the audience to just come along for the ride. You're gonna cry, you're gonna laugh. We're gonna make you get on stage, make you dance, sing."

What’s still rare, even in 2019, is to find a theatrical production of any kind whose creative team is entirely led by women. But that’s the case in Skylight Music Theater’s production of Five Guys Named Moe, which opens Jan. 25 at the Broadway Theater Center.

"We're asking the audience to just come along for the ride. You're gonna cry, you're gonna laugh. We're gonna make you get on stage, make you dance, sing. All of those things, so you'll have to dive in. And when you dive in, it's like you're building community," says Malkia Stampley, stage director.

Lake Effect's Bonnie North joined Stampley, Music Director Christie Chiles Twillie and Choreographer Lanette Costas at the end of a recent rehearsal to find out what an all female creative team brings to this production.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.