Tuesday’s opening night of Cap Rep’s homage to Janis Joplin was so thoroughly — and brilliantly — immersive, from Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill’s curtain speech, which began with the first line of the following riff, to the call-and-response nature of what followed throughout the night, that I had to tell you about it in the most unusual way I could.
A Night with Janis Joplin
what: Created, written and directed by Randy Johnson
WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany
WHEN: Through Aug. 7
HOW MUCH: adults, $55-$25; students with valid ID, $16
MORE INFO: 445-7469, or capitalrep.org
“Are you ready to rock and roll?”
And cry a little, from your bluesy soul.
Janis is dead. Long live Janis!
“Hey, man, life’s a mystery,”
And she’s talking to you and me.
“And every song’s an emotion.”
That’s what Janis says.
That’s what Janis growls
sprung from Aretha, Etta, and Bessie
Nina and Odetta as she prowls
the stage looking for love from
men, bands, and s***
“Stay with Me,” “Down on Me,”
finding words to fit
the wherefrom pain
like “Piece of My Heart”
and “Ball and Chain.”
Long live Kelly McIntyre
Janis is not dead!
Those music mothers
AKA Danyel/Jannie/Nikita/Kimberly Ann
Todd and band boys.
No time, no pause
gotta be dead by 27!
applause, screaming, “Janis!”
And we’re singing to beat back our own years
“Me and Bobby McGee,” “Mercedes Benz,”
Our own fears —
Gonna be dead by someday.
This smart/funny girlgalwomanchild
unlike anyone you know
didn’t ask to be born wild
but was. Glory!
And why you must go.