Spend A Night with Janis Joplin Courtesy of NC Theatre | Arts
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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Spend A Night with Janis Joplin Courtesy of NC Theatre

Posted by on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 4:28 PM

NC Theatre's production of A Night with Janis Joplin - PHOTO COURTESY OF NC THEATRE
  • Photo courtesy of NC Theatre
  • NC Theatre's production of A Night with Janis Joplin
Friday, May 4-Sunday, May 20
Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh
7:30 p.m. Tue.–Sun./2 p.m. Sat. & Sun., $30+, www.nctheatre.com

Generally, North Carolina Theatre favors the one-and-done: single-week productions of hit Broadway musicals that vanish after their allotted time. But in this change-up, a coproduction with Connecticut's Ivoryton Playhouse, audiences have three whole weeks to see New York's Francesca Ferrari fill a very tall order: channeling Janis Joplin, the gritty, damaged, transcendent goddess of rock, blues, and gospel, in sequences on stage and off. In Randy Johnson's 2013 Broadway musical biography, a two-act homage with a live band, a veritable pantheon of African-American musicians who fundamentally influenced Joplin's music have their moments as well: Etta James, Nina Simone, Odetta, and Bessie Smith. But it's Joplin's electrifying live performances—or exorcisms, as she grappled with a darkness that ultimately overcame her in a heroin-and-alcohol overdose at age twenty-seven—that Ferrari must convey.

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