A Night with Janis Joplin opens Off-B'way 10 Apr 2014

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Off-Broadway run of A Night with Janis Joplin, written and directed by Randy Johnson, will open at the Gramercy Theatre on 10 Apr 2014.

With the exception of Mary Bridget Davies reprising her role as Janis Joplin, no casting has been announced.

A Night with Janis Joplin opened at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre on 10 Oct 2013, following previews from 20 Sep 2013, and closed on 09 Feb 2014.

The show opened to mixed reviews: Mary Bridget Davies keeps the house rocking (NY Time); Power-piped but sanitized Joplin (NYP); If you're not a fan, keep walking (Record); The music's the thing here, and that's not likely to disappoint (NY1).

Along with Mary Bridget Davies, the cast featured Taprena Michelle Augustine ('The Book of Mormon'), Tony Award nominee De'Adre Aziza ('Passing Strange'), Nikki Kimbrough ('Dreamgirls') and NaTasha Yvette Williams ('The Color Purple') who performed as Joplin's backup singers, "The Joplinaires," and who featured as some of the iconic female singers who influenced Joplin's music.

They were joined by Kacee Clanton (A Night with Janis Joplin regionally) as 'Janis Joplin alternate,' Allison Blackwell ('The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess') as Joplinaire swing and Alison Cusano (A Night with Janis Joplin regionally) as Joplinaire swing and 'Janis Joplin' understudy.

Press notes for the musical describe the show as, 'Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 for three incredible years, reigning as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll. The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. A Night with Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating the inspirations of one of Rock 'n' Roll's greatest legends.'

The show's creative team featured choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Motown), set and lighting design by Justin Townsend, costume design by Amy Clark, sound design by Carl Casella, projection design by Darrel Maloney, music direction by Ross Seligman, and original music direction and arrangements by Len Rhodes.

A Night with Janis Joplin is produced by Todd Gershwin and Daniel Chilewich, in association with The Estate of Janis Joplin and Jeffrey Jampol for JAM, Inc.

A Night with Janis Joplin also played earlier engagements at Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, Pasadena Playhouse and Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Davies received the 2013 Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical and was nominated for a 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Resident Musical.

- by Tom Millward

Mary Bridget Davies (Janis Joplin)

Originally published on

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