PREVIEW: A Night with Janis Joplin

Bev Wolfe, Twin Cities Arts Reader 3/25/16

Next week, the Ordway Center presents A Night with Janis Joplin, a biographical musical show on the eponymous singer. Janis Joplin, a self-described social misfit from Texas, became a rock blues singing legend out of the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury scene. She first started her singing career in 1962, but her big breakthrough occurred when she and her band Big Brother and the Holding Company performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 . She had a uniquely powerful and raspy singing voice that could not be ignored. Her incredible singing career abruptly ended at the age of 27 when she died from a heroin overdose in 1970.

Joplin’s music covered a broad range from jazz, rhythm and blues, rock, and country due to the varied singing artists she listened to growing up. A Night with Janis Joplin provides many of Joplin’s signature songs but directs its focus to the legends that influenced her music including Bessie Smith, Odetta, Etta James, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, and The Chantels. Performers portraying each of these legends take and share the stage with Joplin’s character during the show.

The show stars Mary Bridget Davies, a celebrated singer and actress who was nominated for a Tony Award during the Broadway run of the show – and who once toured with Joplin’s original band. Reviewers of Davies’ performances on Broadway have described seeing Davis perform Joplin’s music as the next best thing for those who never had a chance to see Joplin in person.

Click HERE to read the full article and learn more about Janis Joplin’s influences.

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