“One Night with Janis Joplin” – REVIEW

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For the Lovers of Rock:
Don’t miss the show “One Night with Janis Joplin” at the Pasadena Playhouse. Brilliantly written and directed by Randy Johnson, who previously created “Elvis in Concert,” “Patsy Cline” and many more (including directing my own show “Illusions”). He has worked with some of the greatest icons in the music business.

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The staging is incredible, the lights and sets visually effective. The two divas, Salorina Elayne Carten (as a blues singer) and Mary Bridget Davies (as Janis Joplin) are amazing. Miss Carten, being an opera singer, sings the blues with a unbelievable voice and feelings reminiscent of many great singers of the past (from Bessi Smith to Nina Simone) and the velvety sound of her voice transports you to an era long gone.

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Miss Davies is a singer of equal caliber to Joplin. She makes you believe you are hearing the real thing. She is earthy and dives into the character completely. It is no surprise she was awarded Best Actress by the Cleveland Critic’s Circle.

The first act, a mix of both stories and songs, was unbelievable. The second act seemed a little too long. It mainly contains songs aimed at fueling the crowd as though they were attending a real Joplin concert. But I missed the stories. If you can’t handle the loud music and the screaming of a rock concert, then the second act may be too much for you.

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The opening of the show was last Sunday on St. Patrick’s Day, and for some reason they allowed a band with loud pseudo-singers to perform on a podium right in front of the theater. So between their noise and the Janis Joplin rock concert I ended up with a terrible headache. Still, however, I am happy to have seen the show.

It was a special added treat for us to see up close Janis Joplin’s psychedelically painted 1965 365c Porsche Cabriolet on display outside the theatre.

 

Pasadena Playhouse Tickets

Watch KTLA interview of Mary Bridget Davies