Blue Pearl

There's a scene in any good documentary of Janis Joplin where she returns with a camera crew to her home town of Port Arthur, Texas, to attend her high school reunion. She's decked out in full Janis regalia: feather boas, beads, frizzy hair…the whole nine yards. Janis does a few interviews before she heads to the reunion, asserting that she was treated terribly in high school, and now—now, she'd have her revenge. Those creeps that made fun of her would have to respect her—she was a bona fide rock star. She was Janis Joplin, man. And what follows has to be the single most heartbreaking footage from any celebrity archive: Janis is shunned, leered at and whispered about by her former classmates as if not a day had passed. A few months later, the woman with that powerful, beautiful voice died of an overdose alone in a hotel room. Her voice is one of the most recognizable in rock and roll: wheezy and deep, vulnerable and absolutely commanding all at once. Her life was fraught with insecurity, pain and loneliness, despite her success. Love, Janis, based on a book written by Janis' sister, gives us a peek inside the world of a woman who has been gone nearly 40 years now, but still resonates with so many of us. The musical runs from Tuesday through February 24 at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets are $15 to $67. Call 214-373-8000 or visit or
Feb. 20-24, 2008

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