The Joplin Siblings on Bringing A Night With Janis Joplin to Broadway
Laura and Michael Joplin celebrate their sister’s legacy…from the audience.
Laura and Michael Joplin are the biggest cheerleaders for A Night With Janis Joplin, a musical revue of their sister's legendary career. To get a stamp of approval from the reigning Janis Joplin experts is a large coup for creator Randy Johnson's production, which has finally reached the Great White Way after over two years touring the country. As opening night draws closer, all the Joplin siblings plan to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the Broadway celebration of Janis' musical legacy.
What's it like to see your sister's legacy being celebrated in such a big way?
Laura Joplin: We were watching Janis become a successful singer over many years before she became famous, so to see the legacy celebrated now is just a real heartwarming connection with someone [who] we lost so many years ago. It's a very special celebration.
Michael Joplin: The timelessness of the music is the whole reason we're here. People are still fascinated by the history, by the music itself, [and] by the talent that is exerted in the music.
Do you feel Mary Bridget Davies does justice to Janis' talent onstage?
Michael Joplin: Mary rocks. She kicks butt. [She] brings a sincerity and honesty to it that is priceless. That's been our whole goal: to have somebody just be honest onstage. We're not trying to re-create Janis. There's no point of it. There is one Janis Joplin. We want somebody like Mary [who] can go up there and be honest with the music.
Does the show help both of you reconnect with your sister?
Michael Joplin: Absolutely. We get to visit — say hi.
What kind of hand have the two of you had in the making of this show?
Laura Joplin: We applaud. We're the biggest fans. [We offer] support, information…Randy Johnson wrote this.
Michael Joplin: It's Randy's piece.
How does it feel for the show to finally be coming to Broadway after touring around the country for so long?
Laura Joplin: It's exciting. It's where you hope to go. It's the best place you can be in theater.
Michael Joplin: Totally exciting. Broadway! Come on! [laughs]
What do you hope people will get out of seeing the show?
Laura Joplin: It's a celebration of music. You get a sense of the roots of the blues music that Janis listened to and you get to see the transformation it went through, and along the way you have an awfully good time. It catches you. That's the thing. It's real, and pretty soon you're just there and having a good time with the music.
Michael Joplin: The honesty of the music makes it. Even though I've seen it [many] times, I can feel the honesty of the music and the sincerity of the really great talent and it's so awesome to be a part of it.