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Best Moments in a Theater 

Mary Bridget Davies and Kacee Clanton in Love, Janis

The Rep's high-toned, too-polite look at Janis Joplin wasn't much interested in the big questions: how voice and drugs and deep personal and societal fucked-upness big-banged the small-town moppet into a Kozmic Blues dervish, or how and why these same factors almost immediately crushed her universe back in on itself. Instead, Love Janis let us know that Joplin craved her mother's love and — much more to the point — that she could thunder. In songs such as "Ball and Chain" and "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)," the vocals were white flame, the band brute and booming, and the patrons of the arts either thrilled to their souls or jellied in their seats. So raw and demanding was the music that two Janises — Mary Bridget Davies and Kacee Clanton — had to alternate shows, a precaution that probably won't be necessary at The John Denver Christmas Concert, the Rep's next celebrity sing-along exhumation.

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