The concert-as-theater performance “A Night with Janis Joplin” will make its Broadway debut this fall after two-years of generating buzz around the country with a national tour.
The production is set to begin previews at the Lyceum Theatre on September 20, with an official opening planned for October 10. Mary Bridget Davies will continue her award-winning role as the title character in the Broadway version. This will be the Broadway debut for Davies, who won the 2013 Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical and was nominated for a 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Resident Musical.
The show in large part is an imagined Joplin concert, but also features appearances by actors playing some of Joplin’s biggest influences, including Bessie Smith and Aretha Franklin.
Here’s how the official website for the production describes the show:
Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin (Mary Bridget Davies) exploded onto the music scene in 1967 for three incredible years, reigning as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. “A Night with Janis Joplin” is a musical journey celebrating the inspirations of one of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest legends.
The show features classic songs made famous by Joplin, including “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain.” Previously, the show has played at Cleveland Play House, Portland Center Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater and Milwaukee Repertory Theater.
The show is written and directed by Randy Johnson, and is produced by Daniel Chilewich and Daniel Gershwin. The latter is a great-nephew of George and Ira Gershwin. The show is produced in association with the Estate of Janis Joplin.