Five Burning Questions with A Night with Janis Joplin Star Mary Bridget Davies
December 11th, 2013
by Josh Ferri
Mary Bridget Davies is making one heck of a Broadway debut as late rock icon Janis Joplin in A Night with Janis Joplin. Thanks to her powerful performance, Davies has the crowd at the Lyceum Theatre on their feet cheering and singing along as she wails on Joplin’s hit songs “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Summertime” and “Piece of My Heart.” BroadwayBox caught up with the bluesy Broadway headliner to ask her our five most burning questions.
1. Singers everywhere want to know: How do you preserve your voice?
It’s just the way I’m built. I do take really good care of myself. I take my allergy medicine, I get as much sleep as possible, I drink as much water as possible, but it’s really conditioning. It’s like working out. I’ve been singing blues and soul music pretty much all my life, and I’ve been working on Janis on and off for six years—you can’t walk up to a Strongman competition if you’ve never worked out before. I just think I have that endurance and stamina. I found a way to do it night after night.
2. What do you do to get in character for this show? Any rituals?
Yeah, I listen to serious blues and rock—stuff that gets me in that era and in the zone. I don’t listen to Janis, but I listen to things I think she would listen to. I’m an Allman Brothers junkie, so I listen to them no matter what. It’s like athletes with their pre-game music; I got to get some of that in there.
3. If you were a rock star like Janis, what would be the craziest demand in your rider as you traveled around the world? Dream big!
Exotic baby animals from wherever I go—like a baby panda. Just so I could play with them. Like we go to the Sahara, and I’m like, “I need a baby tiger or elephant today,” or I’m in Australia, “show us your baby koala.” Not to keep them, not injure them or take them on the road or put them in my purse, just play with fuzzy baby animals anywhere I go.
4. What track on your iPod is your dance-around-the-house guilty pleasure?
Oh man, I’m going to lose some serious street cred on this. I’d say “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” because you try to hit those notes at the end and you’re bouncing around. I remember I had the [Footloose] soundtrack on tape. When I listen to that or Whitney Houston “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” it's like you’re just forever eight years old.
5. What movie can make you cry without fail anytime you watch it?
Forrest Gump. When Jenny introduces him to his son and he asks, “Is he like me?” Floodgates!