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1001 Stories Collection

Five Guys Named Moe

1001 Five Guys Named Moe
Added on 05th October 2020

Book Clarke Peters
Music and Lyrics Louis Jordan

1001

When your feeling blue, five guys all named Moe are sure to be able to cheer you up.

Story

Nomax is a broke and broken-hearted man who one night is visited by five singing and dancing angels – Big Moe, Four-Eyed Moe, Eat Moe, Know Moe and Little Moe – who emerge from his 1930s-style radio each with a different lesson to teach him. Using the power of jazz, and the songs of legendary 1950s bandleader and songwriter, Louis Jordan, they encourage Nomax to look inwards to find the solutions to his problems and to help him get his life and his love back on track.

Why we chose it

The “book” may not be huge on plot, but it garnered awards and is a fine example of a juke-box musical. And it is huge on song, music and dance, celebrating the work of King of the Jukebox Louis Jordan, whose influence was profound: from Ray Charles, Roy Brown, Chuck Berry to the show’s multi-faceted creator, original lead, film and stage star, Clarke Peters. The premiere in 1990 took London by storm and it has since showcased the talents of a myriad of musical actors and instrumentalists.

Where it came from

It is based on an earlier musical short film of the same name which Louis Jordan made in 1943. Clarke Peters grew up loving Louis Jordan’s music and singing his songs in the car with his dad on long journeys. ‘My first encounter with Louis Jordan must have been somewhere between my first breath and five years old.’

Where it went next

It opened at the RNT’s Cottesloe Theatre, London before a run the Theatre Royal, Stratford East in September 1989. Cameron Mackintosh saw it and transferred it to the Lyric Theatre in the West End where it ran for 4 years ( that’s where I saw it!) Then on to Broadway. It has enjoyed several revivals in the UK and US since.

Added on 05th October 2020

Book Clarke Peters
Music and Lyrics Louis Jordan

1001