Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage

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Fresh off its acclaimed run at the Cleveland Play House, 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. Get a first look at the show in the photos below!

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.

Randy Johnson (Creator/Writer/Director). For the past 25 years, he has written, directed and produced some of the most original, ground-breaking and landmark events in the business. Selected theater credits include producer of the West Coast premiere of The Normal Heart starring Richard Dreyfus and Kathy Bates; original producer of Always Patsy Cline; and writer and director of The Wildest – The Music of Louis Prima and Keely Smith, published by Samuel French Inc. Writer and Director of Conway Twitty – the Man, the Music, the Legend, Johnson also co-conceived and directed Elvis the Concert, which premiered at Radio City Music Hall. Elvis the Concert is in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The most successful rock tour performed by a deceased artist." He has directed in regional theaters nationwide and in Canada. Johnson staged and directed Pope Benedict's most recent appearance in New York. Other work includes directing Katharine Hepburn in a PBS documentary on the life of Jimmy Stewart, Mike Tyson – Undisputed Truth(director/co-writer), and Carly Simon's concert A Miracle on 125th Street at The Apollo Theatre in 2007. For PBS and DVD: Carly Simon – A Moonlight Serenade Aboard the Queen Mary. His autobiography Adventures in Hotel Crazy will be published in the fall of 2013. He is a member of Dramatists Guild, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and Canadian Actors Equity as a director. For his work with Aids Project Los Angeles, he is recipient of The Crystal Apple Award.

The Cast of One Night with Janis Joplin?Mary Bridget Davies (Janis Joplin) starred as Janis Joplin in the national tour of Love, Janis and was nominated for the Austin Circle of Theaters' B. Iden Payne Award as well as voted "Best Moment in Theater" by Kansas City's The Pitch newspaper for her portrayal in Love, Janis. Other favorites include It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues on Broadway and being a member of Something Dada Improvisational Comedy Troupe. Davies has received numerous awards for her voice and band, most recently winning second place at International Blues Challenge 2011. She tours internationally with Joplin's original band, Big Brother & the Holding Company.

Sabrina Elayne Carten (Blues Singer) began her career with Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra as the Strawberry Woman in Porgy & Bess. She has since performed in this opera at notable opera houses around the world. Her portrayal of Maria is considered one of the best. She played Tituba in The Crucible at Chautauqua Opera and Mobile Opera. She understudied and performed Queenie in Hal Prince's Showboat on the first national tour across the U.S. and Canada. She recently appeared with Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson – Undisputed Truth at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. She is a member of The American Spiritual Ensemble. Having performed in the Portland Center Stage world premiere, she is excited to reprise The Blues Singer in One Night with Janis Joplin.

Laura Carbonell (Backup Singer /Janis Joplin Understudy) Regional theater credits include the world premiere of Carter Lewis' The Storytelling Ability of a Boy, Florida Stage and Glorious!, Shadowland Theatre; New York credits include the new rock musicals Destinations at Le Poisson Rouge for The New York International Fringe Festival and Twist at the Kraine Theatre; Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pulse Ensemble Theatre; The Wrath of Aphrodite, GayFest NYC; and an Andrews Sisters Musical Revue with New York Dinner Theatre. Film credits include The Captive, a Sundance Channel Digital Short (People's Choice Webby Award for Best Drama and New York Television Festival Award for Best Web Series Pilot), and the upcoming Please Say a Command with Jerry Stiller. Carbonell holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and the Stella Adler Conservatory.

Shinnerrie Jackson (Backup Singer/Blues Singer Understudy) is a graduate of The University of Tennessee and Conservatory of Music – Oberlin College. Numerous roles include Susan in Race; member of the Female Chorus in Electra; Esther in Intimate Apparel; and Ain't I a Woman, a one-woman show about the heroines of African-American history. She has been seen on 30 Rock and in Whit Stillmans' film Damsels in Distress.

The One Night with Janis Joplin creative team also includes Musical Arrangements by Len Rhodes; Set and Lighting Designer Justin Townsend; Costume Designer Jeff Cone; Sound Designer Carl Casella; Projection Designer Darrell Maloney; Stage Manager Jennifer Matheson Collins; Assistant Stage Manager Keri Schultz; and Casting Direction by Randy Dupre, JRD Los Angeles.

For more information on One Night with Janis Joplin special events, ticket information and performance calendar?, click here.

Photo credit: Janet Macoska.

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
The cast of the Cleveland Play House production of One Night with Janis Joplin

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Sabrina Elayne Carten as Blues Singer

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Sabrina Elayne Carten as Blues Singer

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
(L to R) Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin and Sabrina Elayne Carten as Blues Singer

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Sabrina Elayne Carten as Blues Singer

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage
Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin and Sabrina Elayne Carter as Blues Singer

Photo Flash: First Look at Mary Bridget Davies in ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Arena Stage

 

 

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