ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Opens 9/28 at Arena Stage
Fresh off its acclaimed run at the Cleveland Play House, where The Plain Dealer called it "a feel-good, fist pumping, must-see concert," One Night with Janis Joplin will take D.C. audiences on a musical journey into the life and inspirations of one of rock 'n' roll's greatest legends. The production is led by Cleveland native Mary Bridget Davies, who performs with Joplin's original band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and also features Sabrina Elayne Carten as the Blues Singer who pays homage to the artists that influenced Joplin's incomparable blues-rock blend. Created, written and directed by Randy Johnson, the production is produced in partnership with Cleveland Play House in association with Todd Gershwin and Daniel Chilewich of Premiere Media, with support from The Estate of Janis Joplin and Jeff Jampol of JAM, Inc. One Night with Janis Joplin runs September 28 – November 4, 2012 in the Kreeger Theater.
"One Night with Janis Joplin is a full-on concert experience," shares Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. "In the middle of the political season, this is the perfect chance for us to blow off steam and let go! In addition to the pure rock and roll fun of it, it is important to explore Janis Joplin's life and music because she is an icon of a generation. Janis stood on the shoulders of the giants before her- she was deeply inspired by great African American female blues artists. Writer and director Randy Johnson makes sure we discover this through the production."
About One Night with Janis Joplin: With a voice like whiskey and a laugh like pure joy, Janis Joplin took the music scene by storm. Simultaneously rough and vulnerable, Joplin was dubbed the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, proving music wasn't just a man's world anymore. Packed with classic songs ("Piece of My Heart," "Summertime," "Mercedes Benz"), the show also shines the spotlight on trailblazers who influenced Janis-like Bessie Smith, Etta James and Aretha Franklin. Now, in a new musical event featuring more than a dozen singers and band members, playwright-director Randy Johnson creates "a compelling portrait of an artist" (Culturemob) through the words, inspiration and music of one of America's greatest rock 'n' roll originals.
Johnson received unprecedented access to the Joplin family archives to create One Night with Janis Joplin, which enabled him to give audiences a profound immersion into this blues-belting innovator's musical brilliance. Out of his research he notes, "I am constantly astonished and inspired by the depth of the wisdom she imparted in her music, interviews, her writings and her art. Janis provoked a lot of thought by simply being herself. There never has been and never will be another Janis Joplin."
Of the production he adds, "This isn't just Janis' story: it's all of our stories, in one way or another. We all touch and inform each other as we travel this life. The world is a better place because Janis was here for a moment and I trust that audiences will take away a piece of her heart, her spirit and her wisdom from the production. The recent run at Cleveland Play House was beyond all of our expectations and I am personally thrilled and honored to be working with Molly Smith and Arena Stage on this next step in the ongoing journey of One Night with Janis Joplin."