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Janis Joplin resurrected

One-woman show and live band evoke psychedelic trip of blues-rock queen

Who: Janis Janus

Where: Eagle Eye Theatre

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $30

Levitate into the height of the 1960s with a theatrical, multi-media Janis Joplin tribute show, Janis Janus Saturday, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. at the Eagle Eye Theatre in Squamish.

The psychedelic show, which combines stunning vocals, a live band, artistic videos and poetic pose, brings to life the ragged life of the blues-rock queen who died of a drug overdose at the age of 27. There is nothing pretty about it – it’s Joplin to the core.

How do you best describe the triple-platinum artist?

"Willful, gifted, fearless," said Jan Kudelka, star of the one-woman show with band. "Self-pitying, confused, cocky. I don’t know if I’ve said any nice things here. I think she was very loving."

Dainty flower power she wasn’t, but the music, the hits Me and Bobby McGee and Mercedes Benz, made her a star to be remembered.

Not that carrying on Joplin’s music was the source of Kudelka’s inspiration to pen the show. Quite the opposite, Kudelka wanted nothing to do with the legend.

For years, people constantly told Kudelka how much she looked like Joplin. The Stratford, award-winning actress, who has shared stages with the likes of stage legend Maggie Smith and Jessica Tandy, did her best in navy blue dresses and pearls to counteract the associations. Then finally in the 1990s she threw up her hands in defeat, started slamming her fists on desks and died her hair red. For two decades she worked out her relationship with Joplin and herself.

"Before the script ripened, I’d take her home and she wouldn’t go away for days," Kudelka said. "She still picks my boyfriends."

Kudelka gave up on her movie screen aspirations and dedicated herself to touring the show fulltime. The Dora Award nominee, multiple Jessie Award winner and original cast member of Hair in Toronto has garnered rave reviews across the board.

"Jan Kudelka re-creates Joplin’s sound and style with unearthly force," praised Colin Thomas of The Georgia Straight. "Kudelka is fearless."

"Hear the fiery Jan Kudelka as the doomed Janis Joplin in this show of gut-wrenching proportions. You’re sure to think you’ve traveled back to the Summer of Love," wrote a Globe and Mail critic.

Part peep show, part 12 kick-ass songs, the character study of Joplin, likened by Kudelka as a conversation with a ghost, brings you inside the torrent emotions of the three-ring circus Joplin called her life.

Dress the part and wear your peace beads and bell-bottoms to the event. Tickets are $30 and include a Howe Sound Inn brownie and munchies. Ticket and bar proceeds benefit the Squamish Arts Council and Between Shift Theatre Company. Advanced tickets available at Mostly Books, Billie’s Bouquet and Howe Sound Inn.