The Tony-nominated musical “A Night with Janis Joplin” premiered on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre on October 10, 2013. The show is the brainchild of Broadway veteran Randy Johnson, who wrote and directed the musical with the blessing of Joplin’s estate and brother and sister. After 141 performances the show closed on Broadway and hit the road. “A Night with Janis Joplin” will swing through Colorado in early February. The show comes to Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs on Feb. 2 (Gets Tickets) and Denver’s Paramount Theatre on Feb.3 (Get Tickets). Here at AXS we thought we take a deeper look at the musical and its players.
Kelly McIntyre plays Janis Joplin. The talented singer joined the tour in 2016 just before it went on the road. Being able to sing like Janis is no small feat and McIntyre nails it.The show not only examines Joplin’s career but also her influences. The musical is set during a Joplin show in 1970, shortly before she died. Act One focuses more on Janis’s influences, which include Bessie Smith, Odetta, Nina Simone, Etta James, The Chantels and Aretha Franklin. Janis’s influences are played by a talented group of singers and actors.
The role of Odetta and Bessie Smith is played Aurianna Angelique who has played in “Hairspray” and played Effie White in “Dreamgirls.” Perhaps best known as Prince’s protege and muse, Ashley Tamar co-wrote Prince’s Grammy nominated “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed.” Tamar plays Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Blues Woman. Tawny Dolley has performed with the likes of Solange, John Legend, Vintage Trouble and more. She plays Etta James. Jennifer Leigh Warren was on the show’s first tour and reprising her role as the Blues Singer. Warren has appeared in a number of Broadway, television and musical shows. All these actors also play members of the Chantels.
Act Two Joplin’s career but still includes performances with her influences. Act Two also features some of Joplin’s most well-known songs like “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder),” “Cry Baby,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Ball and Chain,” “Mercedes Benz” and more. The show is a wonderful walk through Janis’s life and those who inspired her and a must-see for any Joplin fan.