Celebrate Janis Joplin's birthday at this epic show in Boston

Newton native Kelly McIntyre plays the iconic singer in "A Night with Janis Joplin."
Janis Joplin Boston
"A Night with Janis Joplin" stops in Boston this weekend. Photo by Randy Johnson

Thanks to her raw and powerful vocal talents, portraying Janis Joplin is no easy task. However, Kelly McIntyre has been more than up to the challenge.

 

Over the past two years, the Newton native has played the icon in the touring production of "A Night with Janis Joplin," which stops in Boston Jan. 19-20. McIntyre tells Metro that the show is "more of concert" that pays tribute to the life and legacy of the first queen of rock n' roll, as well as the many amazing women who inspired her.

 

"I always describe it as less of a musical, more of an homage to Janis’ legacy and the women who made her as a musician," McIntyre says. "We really like to celebrate the spirit of her and her muses, her inspirations."

 

Attendees can expect to hear "Piece of My Heart," "Me and Bobby McGee" and more classic Joplin tunes, plus the works of the women who got her into music, such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Nina Simone.

 

This weekend's shows at the Shubert Theatre also coincide with what would have been Joplin's 75th birthday. The legendary singer tragically died from a heroin overdose in a Hollywood hotel room on Oct. 4, 1970.

In remembrance of the late artist, the upcoming performances will be preceded by special birthday celebrations, including a display of historical items from local archivist David Bieber. fans will be able to explore concert photos, records and more prior to each show and during intermission.

For McIntyre, Joplin has remained a powerful figure in the world of music and beyond throughout the decades because of her "one-of-a-kind" sound, as well as her ability to fealessly express herself.

"She was such a unique woman in her time," McIntyre says. "She was very opinionated and very unapologetically herself and was not afraid to speak her mind."

"She did all of that in a time where it was hard to do that as a woman in music," McIntyre adds. "She really did pave the way for a lot of women artists and singers, even today."

If you go: 

Jan. 19-20, Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston, $35+, bochcenter.org

 
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