Eleven years ago I saw Love, Janis off-broadway at what is now known as Le Poisson Rouge. It was my first exposure to the blues rocker’s music and although I totally enjoyed it, it was probably the last time I heard any of her music until last Tuesday night when I was invited to see a performance of A Night With Janis Joplin at the Lyceum Theatre.
The story was similar to that of Love, Janis (as in it was the story of her life) except it also focused on the blues singers who influenced Joplin greatly, such as Nina Simone, Odetta, and Aretha Franklin. The audience was treated to a platter of Joplin’s greatest songs, as well as those from her influences.
The audience was full of baby boomers who were jumping in their seats with joy, and standing after most of the larger numbers. It was thrilling, to say the least. I imagine it’s how I’ll act at a Broadway show about Green Day’s career in the distant future.
The entire cast was great, but special mention must be given to Mary Bridget Davies who flawlessly portrayed Joplin. My friend who was with me told me he thought she sounded exactly like the real thing. My only criticism of A Night With Janis Joplin was the length. It was two and a half hours long, including an intermission. It would’ve been just as enjoyable to skip the intermission and cut it down to an hour and forty five minutes.
Other than that: A Night with Janis Joplin is a good night indeed.
Full disclosure: Tickets were provided by the producers.
This weekend was pretty great. Involved a lot of yoga, a lot of walking, and some good friends.
I went to my usual 9:15am grueling vinyasa class on Saturday morning, ran a few errands after, and confirmed with my two good guy friends that we were grabbing coffee downtown and walking up to Central Park because it was just that nice out. They both agreed and we wound up at Yaffa Cafe in Alphabet City; a place we’d been together almost exactly a year prior (except there was lots of wine involved that day). Michael brought his DSLR and was snapping shots in a paparazzi-esque way the entire day. This shot happened at brunch:
We brunched out and then made a pit stop at Butterlane from cupcakes and coffee (that’s what everyone does after brunch, right?) and walked over to Academy Records on 12th so they could record shop (as I do not own a turntable). We eventually made the extremely smart decision to go to the DSW in Union Square (nope, it would never, ever be packed!) so the guys could shop for shoes. I hate shopping but somehow I was the only one to walk away with shoes (gold/brown strappy sandals).
Shopping worked up appetites again so we walked over to Doughnut Plant on 23rd and his mind (and tastebuds) was blown.
We continued walking, going into various music and shoe stores as we passed them. We also saw graffiti which I was instructed to pose in front of since I was wearing a pink leather coat.
Somehow we were convinced to duck inside Macy’s and check out their men’s shoes. God, I hate that store. It really is the seventh circle of hell. We were treated to espresso at Culture Espresso after though. It totally made up for the venture into hell.
We finished our coffee and ended the afternoon in Bryant Park (also lovely). Eventually the blues happened (see the photo below) and it was time to go home. Walking from Alphabet City to midtown West can really make a person exhausted.
But I couldn’t have had more fun doing it.