Out Of Office: March 2016
A Night with Janis Joplin
She died in 1970 at the age of 27, but Janis Joplin’s fame and influence have grown exponentially since then. If you are a fan, or have ever wondered what it might have been like to see her perform, this is the show for you. It’s based on Joplin’s life, but adds layers of interest by referencing the rhythm-and-blues singers who influenced her most—namely Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Etta James and Odetta.
Mar. 29-Apr. 3, the Ordway, St. Paul, 651-224-4222, ordway.org
It’s not enough for the eco-conscious chamber-pop ensemble Cloud Cult to release a new album (The Seeker), they’ve co-released it with a feature-length film of the same name. Both the album and movie are about a young girl’s journey to find herself, but that’s just the surface story. Scratch it and the two become, in the band’s own words, “an experimental art-drama serving as a metaphor for humanity’s search for the meaning of life and the divine.” And if you know anything about Cloud Cult, you know there’s absolutely no irony in those words.
Mar. 12, State Theatre, Mpls., 612-339-7007, hennepintheatretrust.org
Taylor Mac: 20th Century Abridged
A true artist of the 21st century, Taylor Mac is a playwright/singer/performer whose gender-bending surrealism captures the current American moment with stunning precision. For this piece, he performs songs from each decade of the 20th century, peppering them with hilarious asides, observations, audience participation and the occasional diatribe—all to “remind people of things people have forgotten,” he says, and create an experience everyone will remember.
Mar. 18-19, Guthrie Theater, Mpls., 612-377-2224, guthrietheater.org
Nina Simone: Four Women
In a world premiere commissioned by Park Square Theatre, Regina Williams stars as singer/civil-rights activist Nina Simone, whose stirring songs gave voice to the injustices and frustrations of the African-American experience in the 1960s. The play uses Simone’s lyrics and music to help tell the interconnected stories of four women, as the title suggests.
Mar. 8-26, Park Square Theater, St. Paul, 651-291-7005, parksquaretheatre.org