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Sophie B. Hawkins still playing Janis Joplin in West Hollywood

December 20, 2012|By Reed Johnson
  • Sophie B. Hawkins plays the lead role in "Room 105," a musical play about singer Janis Joplin at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood.
Sophie B. Hawkins plays the lead role in "Room 105," a musical… (Luis Sinco )

When Sophie B. Hawkins first shook up adult-contemporary pop in the '90s with libidinally fixated songs like "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover," critics instantly compared her to Janis Joplin.

The idea stuck, so much so that last fall Hawkins was cast as the lead in "Room 105: The Highs and Lows of Janis Joplin," a new play with music at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood. In it the Grammy-nominated Hawkins channels her inner Janis -- wearing Haight-Ashbury hippie-chic, battling various personal demons, and belting her way through roughly a dozen Joplin classics, including "Down on Me," "Piece of My Heart" and "Me and Bobby McGee."

"Janis has in many ways taught me to sing with much more conviction," Hawkins told the L.A. Times back in October. "I've had always a lot of guts about being on stage and improvising and reaching for something new. And that we have in common, of never wanting to be in the same place every night on a song. She thinks in terms of every vowel means something, every consonant. She's really intense. And it would've been hard to be Janis with that intensity."

Now the show, written and directed by Gigi Gaston, has been extended for a third time, through Dec. 30. If you're craving some intensity during the holiday season that's not related to shopping malls or in-laws, you can find tickets here.

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Follow me on Twitter: @RJohnsonLAT

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