newest entry 2002-05-28 6:35 a.m.

Thus ends my classic rock weekend: last night Lilith and I went to see Love, Janis (she had free tickets).

I enjoyed hearing Janis Joplin's music recreated live, and the audience was amusingly lively, but the production has its problems.

The character of Janis is split into singing Janis and talking Janis, to drive home the idea that, gee whiz, she wasn't just a one-note persona. She wrote letters home to her family (hence the title--the text of the play is culled entirely from actual letters and interviews). The actress portraying singing Janis is a good mimic and impressive, emotive singer...except how soulful can you be when you're pretending to be someone else? So there was that artifice that never quite dissolved for me. The actress who portrays talking Janis is a bundle of annoying shoulder mannerisms (shucking, we used to call that in the 'hood) and over-delivered lines. She does a Janis impression more than really gets inside her.

When you get down to it, it was like seeing a West Village tribute band with some extra padding in between songs. After it was over, I was left wanting to hear some actual Janis Joplin music, so the play accomplished that.

I've been up since 4:30. I greeted the dawn today... just sitting and watching the wind rippling through the foliage in the backyard. Morning is an innocent process.

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