Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothin’ Left to Lose

by REBECCA LAPOLE |

 

Get ready to be transported to the ‘60s and relive the female rock ‘n’ roll greats like you’ve never seen them before. The national tour of “A Night with Janis Joplin” comes to the Fort Collins Lincoln Center next month starring Tony Award nominee Mary Bridget Davies, who channels Janis with an uncanny resem- blance and who is supported by other talented singers, acting as her musical inspirations.

Davies is excited to take this critically- acclaimed Broadway musical back on the road after over a year. She said, “It will be fun to dust it o for this three-month long tour. It’s like a hybrid of theatre life and the road life that I’ve done both as a musician and on Broadway. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll musical, but it feels more like when you go out on the road with your band. We’ll be intimate, eating together, waking up, sleeping, being together constantly. It reminds me of the Transformers. Like Voltron, where we connect together as one massive machine.”

Since the last tour, Janis, I mean, Davies has been staying busy: “I am writing a new album; collaborating with some pretty awesome people. Being on Broadway and being nominated for a Tony has o ered me some cool opportunities, to do some voice-over work, and I’ve been playing with my own band, doing festivals and smaller shows.”

It’s surprising to think that Davies started as the understudy and a backup singer for “A Night with Janis,” and she described the experience of portraying someone as iconic as Janis onstage. “It’s a huge responsibility to be as authentic as humanly possible, to honor her. She wasn’t just that sound bite, that bumper sticker; she was a real person. Her brother and sister are still involved in the show, so the stakes are even higher. If someone were playing me, and I could show up and be okay with it, that’s all I could ask for. So if she could come back and say, ‘Good job, kid,’ that would be amazing.”

Davies continued, “What I love about the show is that because there was life before the internet, there was the tableau of this liquor guzzling, rebel type person. But Janis really was a kid like everyone else. This was her dream and it was hard for her to balance being well raised by Texan parents and pursuing the rock ‘n’ roll that she felt in her soul. This show is about

the music and the women who came before her. There are other actresses that portray Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and more of the black women that were her musical in uences. Even if you’re not a Janis super-fan, it will tell a tale about the person and the music, it’s pre-technology, story-telling, talking to the crowd and a narrative.

“There are flashing lights and the music is loud, it is a rockin’ good time! It wouldn’t play properly if it were some po- lite little stage show; we have a full band, it’s a spectacle. Please, don’t ask why it’s so loud, you’ve been warned! It’s okay to get up and dance and stand up and clap, that’s where the theatre world blurs with rock ‘n’ roll.”

Don’t miss this incredible journey celebrating Janis Joplin and her biggest musical in uences, March 10-12 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. For Tickets Click Here