One Night with Janis Joplin

One Night with Janis Joplin

May 24 — July 3, 2011
On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

Created, Written and Directed by Randy Johnson
Musical Direction and Arrangements by Len Rhodes
In association with the Estate of Janis Joplin & Jeffrey Jampol for JAM, Inc.
A World Premiere!

Portland Center Stage will host the world premiere of One Night with Janis Joplin, the new musical event celebrating the life of one of rock ‘n roll’s greatest legends, beginning May 24, 2011. One Night explores Joplin’s music, words, art and diverse influences. Playwright-director Randy Johnson’s unprecedented access to the Joplin Family archives has enabled him to give audiences a profound immersion in this blues-belting trailblazer’s world. Packed with dynamic performances, including several legendary songs and other material the rock icon never formally recorded, this is Janis Joplin’s musical journey presented in a powerfully immediate form.

PCS has partnered with the Janis Joplin Estate and Jeff Jampol of Jampol Artist Management to present this unique theatrical experience. One Night with Janis Joplin is the brand new, all-inclusive Joplin musical. The show will run through June 26 on PCS’ Main Stage in the Gerding Theater at the Armory.

“When we were approached by the Joplin team members about us joining them on this project, we were thrilled,” notes Chris Coleman. “Portland is one of the most engaged music cities in the country, and we knew our audience would be as excited as we are to be the first to experience this event, and participate in this celebration of an American treasure. We had planned to include Janis Joplin in our 2010-2011 season all along, but the opportunity to present this world-premiere piece gives us even more reasons to be excited.” To read more about Janis Joplin, visit the official website:

One Night with Janis Joplin, writer/director Randy Johnson has amassed numerous impressive and diverse credits in his career, that include: directed Elvis the Concert, which has consistently toured arenas all over the world for the past 14 years and is identified in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The most successful rock tour performed by an artist deceased;” Original Producer of Always Patsy Cline, the hit show that has played across the U.S. via regional theaters and national tours, as well as a successful Off Broadway run; Director of the event presenting Pope Benedict in his most recent U.S. appearance in New York and Writer/Director of THE WILDEST, the Music of Louis Prima and Keely Smith, which has been published by Samuel French. For a full bio and list of credits for Randy Johnson, visit

Performance times:
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm
Thursday matinees at noon

A full list of performances and dates will appear when you enter the Buy Tickets section of the website.

One Night with Janis Joplin runs approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.

View the Cast and Creative Team Bios

Playbill for One Night with Janis Joplin

Written and directed by Randy Johnson

Performance Times

Evenings: Tuesday - Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: Saturday and Sundays at 2 p.m.,
Thursdays at noon

*Note: These are general performance times. Certain productions may have exceptions. View the season calendar for more information.

This show's run time will be posted below the synopsis at left near the date of the first performance.

Production blog

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a….1965 Porsche 356C?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a….1965 Porsche 356C?

29 June 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Ironically, although she famously claimed to desire a Mercedes Benz, Janis Joplin actually owned an arguably more awesome set of wheels: a custom-painted 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet.In September 1968, Janis bought the three-year-old “oyster white” car for $3500. She quickly realized, however, that the standard paint job didn’t quite suit her flamboyant nature.So she asked her friend (and Big Brother and the Holding Company roadie) Dave Richards to create something more “dramatic.”


From Page to Stage: Costume Designer Jeff Cone Reflects on 30 Shows in 5 Years

24 June 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

The work of a costume designer is no easy task. Simply put, costumes are the visual translation of a playwright’s work, from the page to the stage. Luckily, PCS has Jeff Cone, Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager, charged with designing and overseeing the creation of the majority of costumes seen onstage at The Gerding Theater at the Armory. With One Night with Janis Joplin, Jeff is celebrating his 30th show for PCS since moving into its new home at the Armory five years ago.


There’s Something About Janis

24 June 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Janis Joplin didn’t need makeup, hair stylists and skimpy clothes to sell her songs. It wasn’t about the way she looked. It was about the way she sang. With her electrifying, rough-around-the-edges stage presence and assertive, sexually forthright persona, she held her own in what was then a man’s world – and in the end, she showed the world that women could be rock singers.



One Night with Janis Joplin art & photos View on Flickr »

Trailer for One Night with Janis Joplin. View on Vimeo »

Reviews and Features

Eleanor Brown | Portland Monthly [Review 08 Jun 2011]

Janis Joplin may have died in 1970, but Portland Center Stage is striving to keep her spirit alive. In One Night with Janis Joplin, PCS has resurrected the legend of the self-described “white chick singing the blues,” offering her fans the impossible: a second chance to experience the power of her live performance.

read more

Ron Hockman | CultureMob [Review 02 Jun 2011]

“All of a sudden, someone threw me in front of this rock and roll band. And I decided then and there that was it. I never wanted to do anything else.” —Janis Joplin

The spirit of Janis shines in One Night with Janis Joplin. The play/concert celebrates her life and music, mostly the music. And the music is worth the price of admission. (At Portland Center Stage through June 26.) We learn of the singers who influenced Janis: Odetta, Bessie Smith, Etta James, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin, among others. And like the women she admired, she could be sweet, soulful, sensitive, bombastic, funny, loud, profane, and vulnerable. The genius of Janis was her ability to absorb all these musical influences and transmutate them, like an alchemist, into her own unique and authentic style, for Janis was nothing if not an original.

read more

Grant Butler | The Oregonian [Review 31 May 2011]

In the decades since her untimely death in 1970, the legacy of rock singer Janis Joplin has faded significantly. Several attempts to turn her life story into a feature-length film or a documentary have fizzled. And her raucous music, which used to be everywhere, is rarely heard today, even on classic rock radio stations.

The singer’s estate hopes to change those fortunes with the new stage show “One Night With Janis Joplin,” a theatrical concert that had its world premiere Friday at Portland Center Stage.

read more

Alison Hallett | The Portland Mercury [Review 30 May 2011]

Based on anecdotal evidence gathered on opening night of One Night with Janis Joplin, I’ve concluded there’s a point in the life of every rich white person (it was a limited sample) when the simulacrum of a rock concert becomes more appealing than an actual rock concert. One Night with Janis Joplin is essentially three hours with a Janis Joplin impersonator. And as Fake Janis (Cat Stephani) belted out the hits, the audience at the Armory responded with unchecked enthusiasm.

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Jay Horton | Willamette Week [Review 29 May 2011]

Portland Center Stage, inexplicably determined that its final show of the season pay tribute to a long-deceased blues belter of dimming celebrity, decided mid-season to shelve the originally scheduled Love, Janis and host instead the global premiere of One Night with Janis Joplin. This newest iteration, like Love, Janis a family-sanctioned glimpse of a less-than-compelling tale, was written and directed by Randy Johnson, architect of a remarkably successful Elvis Presley facsimile concert—but there’s a reason Joplin impersonators haven’t quite made careers.

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