A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN
HUNTINGTON — Janis Joplin was only on the national music scene for three years.
But in that short time, the rough and tumble Texas powerhouse left every piece of her heart, soul and vocal chords on the stage.
While heroin may have stolen The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer away at age 27, hers is such a legacy and such a voice that rock ‘n’ roll will never forget.
You can roll back the psychedelic rock clock to the late 1960s at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, as the Marshall Artists Series presents the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical “A Night With Janis Joplin” at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are $97.87, $81.50, $70.58 and $64.04 for the time-traveling rock musical that whisks audiences back from Monterey, California, to Woodstock, New York, to soak in the masterpiece blues and whiskey-soaked rock theater of Joplin’s one-of-a-kind takes on such songs as “Piece of My Heart,” “Cry Baby,” and “Me and Bobby McGee” and which celebrates some of Joplin’s biggest musical influences.
Some tickets are still available at the Marshall Artists Series Box Office at 304-696-6656 or you can order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com.
You can also visit the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse box office on campus from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
When it comes to being Joplin, Kelly McIntyre of Boston has a couple hundred rocking nights under her belt as the famous singer.
McIntyre joined the first national tour in 2016, as the Joplin alternate then went on to headline and perform in five more productions of the show at Capital Repertory Theatre, The Barter Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Laguna Playhouse and McCarter
IF YOU GO
WHAT: The Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical “A Night With Janis Joplin,” a musical journey celebrating Janis
Joplin and her biggest musical influences — trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, all of whom inspired Joplin to become one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest legends.
WHERE: The Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, 925 4th Ave., Huntington.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14.
GET TIX: Tickets are $97.87, $81.50, $70.58 and $64.04. Some tickets are still available at the Marshall Artists Series Box
Office at 304-696-6656 or you can order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com. You can also visit the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse box office on campus from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
ON THE WEB: Go online at http://www.herald-dispatch.com/_recent_ news/video-a-night-with-janis-joplin-trailer/youtube_2a326224-c320-11e7-9e0a-ab7d8f87cea3.html.
SPONSORS: “A Night with Janis Joplin” is sponsored by North Star Anesthesia, Dr. and Mrs. Brian Ferguson, WTCR, B97, WSAZ, The Herald-Dispatch, Marshall University and the Marshall Artists Series.
Theatre before joining the second national tour to star as Joplin nightly.
Mclntyre said the awesome thing about the show is that Joplin — who threw herself into every song, claiming the blues, soul, gospel and rock with unquestionable authority—is someone who unites crowds across age, race and even musical tastes.
“That is what we usually find is that any age can be in the audience,” Mclntyre said by phone while on tour. “You see high schools bringing kids to the show, and then people in their walkers come to relive the 1960s and who were the people who were at Monterey Pop and Woodstock, and they are bringing their kids or grandkids to have their kids listen to Janis, so it is all over. We also do a lot of one-nighters so they come out and treat it like a one-night-only kind of event, and so it is rocking, and everyone has a blast and is sincine along.”
And, just like Joplin and fellow late 1960s rockers like The Rolling Stones and Cream did back in the day, the musical also turns audiences onto the original American roots music and artists that influenced and inspired them to turn up and transform blues, soul and gospel into an amplified ’n1 and roll stew tailor-made for electrifying audiences on radio and in person.
“A Night With Janis Joplin” features her biggest musical influences — trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who, of course, was the half-sister of the late Logan, West Virginia, native “Diamond Teeth” Mary Smith McClain, who is buried in Huntington.
“I just think that it is so cool that the show puts a spotlight on those women as well,” Mclntyre said. “As an artist, everyone who is a singer in any capacity has people who have inspired them, and Janis was no exception. These women also were women who had opinions and who broke down barriers, and Janis was inspired by strong-willed women like that. So that is cool to share with everyone, and their music is something everyone can enjoy. Even if you don’t like rock, well there is folk and soul and blues in there, and we even do a song from ‘Porgy and Bess,’ so there’s sounds for everyone.”
Mclntyre, who grew up outside of Boston, said it’s been an amazing journey to study and find out a lot more about Joplin and about the woman behind one of the most iconic voices to ever hit a rock stage,
“Growing up listening to classic rock, you know some of those Janis songs like ‘Piece of My Heart’ and ‘Cry Baby,’ and so I knew her music and what that voice is all about,” Mclntyre said. “I didn’t get into her deeper stuff until I was in college, and then when I got cast into the role I saw a clearer picture of her. I think she is such a role model for independent modern women because even when it wasn’t popular to be an independent woman she was, and I always gravitate toward personalities like that. Her music is just timeless and is amazing to sing, so I try to do my best to pay homage to her sound and personality and to what people growing up with her know. I think over time I have really taken on her mannerisms and physicality. I’ve done a lot of research, and I’m just having fun with it.”
In her research for the role Mclntyre said she learned quite a bit about Joplin that she was not aware of.
“I think one of the coolest things I learned was that she was a painter growing up and into college, and her artwork is really cool and full of symbolism and abstract,” Mclntyre said, “During the show you learn a lot of stuff about her childhood and that helps paint a more true portrait of her and that makes me happy. I think people come into the show just thinking she was just an addict, and the sex, drugs and rock ’n* roll poster child, but her life goes a lot deeper than that. There is more artistry than that, so we try to emphasize learning new things about her that people didn’t know.”
Mclntyre, who has been in several contemporary NYC theater shows from “Days of Rage” and “Into the Sun” to “For Tonight,” said it is a great time for musical theater as it is melding in shows like this with the best aspects of a Broadway show mixed with some amazing pop music.
“This show has that fusion of pop rock music and contemporary theater, and there are a lot of more singer/songwriters now writing for Broadway, so it is definitely making new pockets of music, which I appreciate because I think when you mesh any two genres together it is going to be really interesting what comes out,” Mclntyre said. “I hope to be a part of that community, and I think it is growing. I would say this is the best job for someone like me; I have one foot in the theater world and one in rock radio, and so it is the coolest job ever. I get to feel like I am in a real rock band but also get to enjoy that aspect of the storytelling of the stage and that is really, really cool.”