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. 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.
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. 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 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. The production ran with this cast until 13 January 1996.
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.
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.
Awards and nominations
Original London production
|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
|1992||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Book of a Musical||Clarke Peters||Nominated|
- at the Internet Broadway Database
- at the Music Theatre International website