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Mary Bridget Davies Shines in A Night With Janis Joplin on Broadway

In case you were wondering, the adrenaline-fueled and fiercely candid Broadway musical  A Night With Janis Joplin is in no way your standard celebrity-impersonator concert. When Mary Bridget Davies belts out a Joplin classic bathed in the spotlight, you get an overwhelming sense of what it must have been like to watch the rock legend tear up the stage in the late 1960s.

Mary Bridget Davies in A Night With Janis Joplin
Photo: Joan Marcus

But what you’re also getting is a guided tour through Joplin’s early life and career including (and highlighting) the blues greats who influenced her music: Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone, and Bessie Smith, as well as her contemporary, Aretha Franklin — all of whom make “guest appearances” through costars Taprena Michelle Augustine, De’Adre Aziza, Allison Blackwell, and Nikki Kimbrough.

Mary Bridget Davies, Taprena Michelle Augustine, De'Adre Aziza, Allison Blackwell, Nikki Kimbrough in A Night With Janis Joplin
Davies (center), Augustine, Aziza, Blackwell, and Kimbrough. Photo: Joan Marcus

Davies embodies Joplin so completely that her words (written by director Randy Johnson, and accompanied by swigs of Southern Comfort) ring real: “I didn’t simply emerge as this rock and roll chick. It was a lot of hard work to get here. None of us are who we started out as — that’s the journey, man.”

As for Joplin’s songs, Davies delivers all of them — from “Piece of My Heart” to “Me and Bobby McGee — with the same passion and power that drove the Texas-born singer to cult-status stardom. Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St., 212-239-6200; anightwithjanisjoplin.com

About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. She currently is the theatre editor for all NYMetroParents publications. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

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