Monday, March 12, 2007

Love, Janis

I LOVED Love, Janis, a phenomenal play that blew my mind. It shifted my perception of Janis Joplin, as it portrayed so well the various dimensions of her: Janis Joplin the performer ("Janis Joplin in a box") and Janis, the not so well known vulnerable lonely loner, intellectual, vulnerable, hopeful individual who kept in touch with her family with her candid letters, upbeat, yet belying the pain and confusion that goes hand-in-hand with the joys of being a famous musician. Gives songs like "Free is Just another word for nothing left to lose," whole new meaning. Performed stunningly by a "singing" Janis who completely channeled her spirit on stage performing over 15 of Janis great songs, and a "speaking" Janis who conveyed her other side and viewpoints of her life via oral letters to her family. Oft the two Janis's appeared on the stage together responding to an interviewer and the effect of them playing off each other and together was riveting and moving, hilarious, thought-provoking and absolutely heart-wrenching. I am a new fan come far too lately and compelled to read up more on her life. I'll start with her sister Laura's book Love, Janis the play was based on. Laura was in fact at the play!!! And talked during a Q and Aafter the play, about her relationship with Janis, thoughts and insights on her life and contributions to music and social change. This was a great, unexpected treat.

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