10 Degrees Cooler
We loved Janis and her bravado, her determination to throw it back in your face. She may be gone, but our generation clings to her. Naturally Janis was part of the music scene in
Midway through the performance I started to wonder - were there two sides to this performance, written by David Manat? The play offered a tame and sympathetic look into the daily life of Janis. Letters to her parents; performance soliloquies offered as reminiscences of the stories underlying her bluesy lyrics and “shine[d] a spotlight on the great African-American blues artists who influenced Janis’ musical style and career, including Bessie Smith, Etta James and Aretha Franklin”. The frenetic effort to engage the audience at times and pretend that the performance was actually a concert fell flat. Having been to a Janis Joplin concert and worn the grooves out on Cheap Thrills, the on stage performance did not reach your core they way Janis did. It’s wasn’t just that 15’ of amplifiers were not belting out music, or that the Tricia Kelly’s whiskey voice fell short of Janis’ power. When you listened to the one and only original Janis your body and mind hummed with energy. You were never a voyeur; you were always on the adventure with Janis.
As teenagers and college students we were in love with anarchy.
And what about the audience? Us? We don’t listen to our kids rap. We think they are talking about candy when they talk about M & M.
Am I being fair, or do I just miss the old me? Am I becoming my mother? Yup Janis did it again. From the grave she totally messed with my head.
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