She captivated crowds in her role as Janis Joplin in 2013, and now, Tony-nominated blues singer Mary Bridget Davies is returning to the Pasadena Playhouse for four nights this month for a second round of a soulful good time.
"I'm really excited because when we were at the Playhouse doing 'A Night with Janis Joplin' last year, we had so much fun," Davies said.
Davies was nominated for a Tony award this year as the best lead actress in a musical category for her Broadway role in "A Night with Janis Joplin," which was the highest-grossing production in its run at the Playhouse, according to a press release from the theatre.
The new show, presented by the Pasadena Playhouse in association with Jeffrey Jampol and JAM, Inc., features blues, rock and soul songs from Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, along with music from more of Davies' favorites artists, including Etta James, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, the Band and Amy Winehouse.
The blues diva got her first big break when she was asked to sing onstage with Big Brother & the Holding Company – Joplin's original band, after which she toured extensively with the group. Her debut album with the Mary Bridget Davies Group, "Wanna Feel Somethin'," was released in 2011.
In 2013, Davies started her Broadway run, and has spent most of her time since then on the East Coast — which means the July show is one of the few opportunities audiences have to see her on the West Coast, she said.
"What's so great about doing my own concerts is I get to be myself," she said. "You get that audience participation, that back-and-forth energy, with a lot of the fourth wall-break — we're in it together."
The show, curated by MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, features the Doors' guitarist Robby Krieger and guest appearances from drummer Stephen Perkins from Jane's Addiction, Eric Gardner of Gnarls Barkley, Bob Mothersbaugh of Devo and Carl Restivo from Tom Morello's Freedom Fighter Orchestra.
"It's really a good time," she said. "It gives me so much joy to sing. It's very, very soulful. It's not a put-on, it's not just 'go out there and look pretty.' I give it everything I have."
Davies' performance is part of the Pasadena Playhouse's "Summer at the Playhouse — Music, Mayhem and Madness" schedule of events, which also includes "A Judy Garland Concert with Joey Luft," July 10 through 13, and "Henson Alternative's Puppet Up — Uncensored," July 24 through 26.
Where: The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena.
When: Thursday, July 17 through 19, 8 p.m.; July 20, 5 p.m.
Tickets: $40 to $100
More info: (626) 356-7529, PasadenaPlayhouse.org