There are very few distinctive voices in rock music but there can be little doubt that Janis Joplin might well be at the top of that list. Her voice was a rare combination of high, as well as husky, earthy, but oh my was it explosive and when she was live in concert, she not only owned the room, she owned the building.
Saturday night January 19, 2019 BroadwayHD will debut the high energy outstanding hit musical “A Night with Janis Joplin.” Playing the title role is Mary Bridget Davies who IS Janis Joplin and her outstanding performance in the production earned her a well-deserved Tony nomination.
On this week’s edition of Stream On with Jim Williams, we talk with the team that founded BroadwayHD Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley as well as the talented Ms. Davies.
We talk in detail about the show and of course how Davies was able to channel Joplin and give an epic performance that is a “Must see,” for anyone who loves music. Joplin was only 27 years old when she died of a drug overdose a little over three years after she became a star.
Davies as Joplin weaves stories about family and life, but the most interesting and one of the most entertaining part of the show is how Janis openly talks about the black singers who influenced her and her songs.
We hear from Bessie Smith (Taprena Michelle Augustine), Etta James (Nikki Kimbrough), Aretha Franklin (Allison Blackwell), Nina Simone and Odetta (De’Adre Aziza). The ensemble cast rocks the house by each giving epic solos of their own.
But Davies really steels the show with her killer performances of Joplin songs, “Piece of My Heart,” “Ball and Chain,” “Down on Me,” “Summertime,” to name a few — are lusty and undeniably crowd-pleasing. They have a distinctive rock-concert feel that will have you heading to iTunes or Amazon to buy every Joplin album ever made.
Let me be clear there is no question you need to see “A Night with Janis Joplin,” and it was captured brilliantly by the BroadwayHD production team led by Lane and Comley.