Getting back to rock's roots
|By Adam Ilenich|
Lansing Community College presents 'The Joint is Jumpin''Tuesday, April 10 — Lansing Community College explores the roots of rock ‘n roll in “The Joint is Jumpin’,” an original musical revue created and directed by Janine Novenske Smith. “This is the ninth year that I have directed this type of production,” Smith said. “Each year I choose a different topic, and then spend about nine months researching whatever the topic is or the style is that I’ve chosen.
“This year, I decided to do the roots of rock and roll, and that encompasses a lot of different styles. The audience is going to hear gospel, ragtime, jazz, blues and, of course, rockabilly.”
Numbers include “His Eye is on the Sparrow/Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” a rousing gospel medley from "Bubbling Brown Sugar," “Blue Suede Shoes” and Great Balls of Fire” from "Million Dollar Quartet" and “Tear Down the House” and “Steal Your Rock & Roll” from "Memphis."
In the past, Smith has created shows including “The Biz,” which examines show business, “The Mating Game,” which looked at relationships and “Swing City,” set in a 1940s jazz club. All of her shows include music that’s pulled from Broadway musicals or other musical shows.
“Jumpin’” uses a 17-member cast to tell the story of rock’s formative years.
“The cast members are part of the creation of this story,” Smith said. “When you’re in a pre-existing show, you tend to know what you’re working with: You develop your character with your director. But here, we’re creating characters and we’re exploring them.”
‘The Joint is Jumpin’’
Lansing Community College
8 p.m. Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14; 3 p.m. Sunday, April 15
$10 donation at the door