“A Night with Janis Joplin,” at the Alley Theatre in Houston through Sept. 18, invites fans to hang out with the wild haired, wild-voiced character as she belts out raw emotion from the microphone then quietly reminisces about singing opera along with records she and her mom played at their home in Port Arthur. It’s concert and a chat.
You get a Janis show, performed at “superhypermost” by Kacee Clanton. It’s blended with singers honoring Bessie Smith, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and others whose voices honed Joplin into the one-of-a-kind soulful performer that became a 1960s icon. The standing ovations come early and often throughout this show. “Janis” will crank out a hit like “Cry Baby,” or “Summertime,” relax in a chair to chat with the audience about her journey from Texas to California, reflect on the women who inspired her to sing, then take the stage again and again.
Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur honors Joplin’s style and accomplishments in its music hall of fame. A replica of her psychedelic Porsche is displayed near her original artwork. Her Southeast Texas musical neighbors in this display include The Big Bopper, Johnny Winter and Edgar Winter, Tex Ritter, George Jones, Clifton Chenier and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Janis was all about the music and this corner of Texas blended a lot of it.
Visit the Museum in downtown Port Arthur before catching the show in Houston to get a promo code for discounted tickets to “A Night with Janis Joplin.”