Spend a wild night with Ja­nis Jo­plin

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - Your Weekend - By Bon­nie Gold­berg

Five decades have passed since Ja­nis Jo­plin com­manded a stage, singing her unique brand of rock ’n roll, gospel,soul coun­try and blues mu­si­cal styles to her faith­ful au­di­ences. One of the orig­i­nal “sex, drugs and rock ’n roll” gals, her star burned bright and hot and ex­tin­guished all too quickly. Luck­ily, the Ivoryton Play­house is bring­ing the star back for an en­core per­for­mance un­til Sun­day, June 24 with “A Night with Ja­nis Jo­plin.”

Francesca Fer­rari and Paige McNa­mara are shar­ing the honors of the ti­tle role of Ja­nis, bring­ing forth her deep, grav­elly voice, dark cloud of long hair, dis­tinct style sell­ing songs, and en­er­getic ki­netic move­ments.

Along with the dis­tinc­tive mu­sic are sto­ries about her Texas past and the su­per tal­ents who in­flu­enced her mu­si­cal magic like Aretha Franklin, Nina Si­mone, Blues Wo­man and Chantel cre­ated by Amma Osei, Etta James and Chantel cre­ated by Tawny Dol­ley, Bessie Smith, Odetta and Chantel cre­ated by Auri­anna An­gelique and Blues Singer and

lead Chantel cre­ated by Jen­nifer Leigh War­ren.

No need for hear­ing aids — these women know how to belt out their mu­sic to the rafters. A mighty rock band of eight, led by Michael Mor­ris, helps them put the tunes over the top. The show has been cre­ated, writ­ten and di­rected by Randy John­son. Fea­tured songs in­clude “Tell Mama,” “Sum­mer­time,” “Piece of

My Heart,” “Spirit in the Dark,” “Lit­tle Girl Blue,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “I’m Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven” and “Mercedes Benz.” Pro­jec­tions that in­clude Jo­plin’s paint­ings by Dar­rel Maloney add to the mes­sage.

Had she not died of a drug over­dose at 27, Ja­nis Jo­plin would now be 76. Yet her mu­sic and her style live on and she con­tin­ues to rock her way to heaven.

For tick­ets ($55, se­niors $50, stu­dents $22, chil­dren $17 ), call the Ivoryton Play­house,

⏩ For tick­ets ($55, se­niors $50, stu­dents $22, chil­dren $17 ), call the Ivoryton Play­house, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or on­line at www.ivory­ton­play­house.org. 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or on­line at www.ivory­ton­play­house.org. Per­for­mances are mati­nees Wed­nes­day and Sun­day at 2 p.m., Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day at 7:30 p.m., Fri­day and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Cur­tis Brown / Con­trib­uted photo

“A Night With Ja­nis Jo­plin” runs un­til June 24 at Ivoryton.

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