Kelly conceived and stars in the 90-minute tribute to the award-winning folk artist that will play seven performances at the New York venue June 18-27. Kevin Malony directs. As in his previous solo performances, the countertenor will perform the songs of the Grammy-winning Canadian singer-songwriter in their original keys, accompanying himself on dulcimer and replicating Mitchell's signature opening tunings. Paved Paradise Redux also features a video re-creation of the Tavis Smiley PBS interview with Mitchell, featuring Kevin Joseph (Flotilla DeBarge) as Smiley.
"As a kid growing up in New Jersey, I would put on my headphones and be swept into Joni's world," Kelly said of Mitchell's music in a statement. "Hers is a world rich with wanderlust, emotion and innuendo. Her songs have the power to transport a lonely individual into another world. I suppose it was the words as much as the music. The combination of the two was, and remains powerful, beautiful and compelling."
Kelly will be backed by musical director Zecca Esquibel. TWEED TheaterWorks in association with Robbi Kearn produce the event.
Multidisciplinary performance artist John Kelly's highly praised Joni Mitchell works began with Paved Paradise in 1997 and was followed by Shiny Hot Nights: More Songs of Joni Mitchell in 2001 and Get Up and Jive: Even More Songs of Joni Mitchell in 2004. The stage presentations were born from Kelly's impersonation of the legendary folk singer at the first Wigstock in the mid 1980's. He has also appeared on Broadway in James Joyce's The Dead.
For tickets, priced $20-$25, phone 212-352-3101 or visit OvationTix. The Abrons Arts Center is located within the Henry Street Settlement at 466 Grand Street in the East Village.