Who: Janis Janus
Where: Eagle Eye Theatre
When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m.
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 its 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 dont know if Ive said any nice things here. I think she was very loving."
Dainty flower power she wasnt, but the music, the hits Me and Bobby McGee and Mercedes Benz, made her a star to be remembered.
Not that carrying on Joplins music was the source of Kudelkas 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, Id take her home and she wouldnt 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 Joplins 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. Youre sure to think youve 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, Billies Bouquet and Howe Sound Inn.