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BWW Preview: A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Worships at the Altar of a Rock-And-Roll Goddess

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Kacee Clanton brings Janis Joplin to Houston
in the Alley Theatre production of
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN.
Photos by Mark and Tracy Photography

The Alley Theatre brings Tony Award-nominated musical A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN to its Hubbard stage. Kacee Clanton, the actress and singer who portrays Joplin in the musical, resurrects the rock and roll legend. Accompanied by a live band, Clanton will perform "Cry Baby," "Me and Bobby McGee," "Piece of My Heart," "Mercedes Benz," and "Summertime," among others.


Take a look at Janis' live performance of "Ball and Chain" at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Music Festival and she'll make a believer out of you. She doesn't run down any aisles or predictably faint, but her performance is as energizing as any Pentecostal church service. And more useful. It is prayer, sermon, scripture, and testimony all combined into one. She's offering salvation, healing, and renewal. You only need accept it.

Janis Joplin sings "Ball and Chain" at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival.

Clanton will attempt to capture Joplin's raw vocals--precise, considered all at once. A concert buoyed by Joplin standards, blues legends, and dynamic visuals, A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN pays tribute to the singer's perfection and grace as well as her love affair with the blues and adoration for greats like Bessie Smith, Aretha Franklin and Etta James.

"Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin. Now, they are so subtle, they can milk you with two notes," said Joplin. "They could go no farther than from an A to a B and they could make you feel like they told you the whole universe. And Otis, my man. I think maybe if I keep singin', maybe I'll get it." Like Aretha and Billie, Janis aimed to uncover the universe through song. And like Janis, this Broadway musical aims to "get it."


A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN begins previews August 19, opens August 21, and continues through September 18 at the Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays; and 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 24. For information, please call 713-220-5700 or visit alleytheatre.org. Tickets start at $26. Discounted tickets are available for students and groups.

Play contains explicit language and adult content.


Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin in A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN.
Photos by Mark and Tracy Photography


Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin in A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN.
Photos by Mark and Tracy Photography


Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin in A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN.
Photos by Mark and Tracy Photography


Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin in A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN.
Photos by Mark and Tracy Photography


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