Alanis Morissette is calling, from one entertainment mecca to another.
“I am in New Orleans and it is great here,” Morissette said. “It’s got that crackling, entertainment feeling.”
Morissette, fresh off her appearance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, performs Friday and Saturday night at Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms. Her upcoming performance is unique in her career: the first time she will play a show with a full band while pregnant.
This is the 44-year-old recording artist’s third child with her husband, rapper Mario Treadway, who goes by the stage name SoulEye. Wednesday, she posted a photo of herself with her band mates, all in a baby-bump pose.
— Alanis Morissette (@Alanis) April 25, 2019
A few highlights of my chat with Morissette:
So you are with child, as they used to say. How far along are you, and how does it feel to perform as you’re expecting?
“I’m a little over halfway. I’ve done acoustic shows before, with child, but never anything plugged in. The key for me is remembering there are two of us up here. For me, during shows, I am very in my body and in my head. I just go for it, so it’s up to my band mates to remind me and give me wide-eyed looks, like saying, ‘Slow down, baby!’ ”
How does the audience respond?
“I have felt, and have seen, that people who come to my shows are thoughtful, really smart, really sensitive and in tune with what’s going on. There is a big connection for me with my fans, when I am playing music for people.”
When I’m running around Las Vegas, I hear your music a lot, randomly, like over the sound system in a casino or from someone singing karaoke. It can be anywhere. Does that happen with you?
“Yes (laughs), often at grocery stores. I’ll be shopping and hear myself. Whenever it happens, shrink with my little red face in the corner until it stops.”
But it shows your popularity, right?
“Well, it’s good for when my friends travel. They will text me, from Beijing, Thailand, some bar in London. I tell them, ‘It’s me saying hi!’ It saves me a lot of time and money flying around to actually say hi to them.”
Do you have a favorite visit to Las Vegas?
“Ha! I have done every version. I’ve gone to bed early, gotten up early and gone to the spa and not exposed myself to the outdoors. I’ve gone to Cirque du Soleil shows and then partied out of my tree all night with my friends, when I was in my 20s. I’ve gone jet-skiing on Lake Mead. I’ve had fits and starts of what is available. This trip will be pretty mellow, I feel. I hope so (laughs). I’m not in condition for the clubs. But you never know.”
Any musical instrument you want to learn to play?
“I very loosely play piano and guitar. I kind of play harmonica, in that I just blow air into it. But down the road, I’d like to take real guitar lessons and not just strum along. I know how to play well enough to write, but the virtuosos are in my band.”
“Jagged Little Pill” is coming to Broadway soon. What is the update with that show?
“It’s opening at the end of the year, after hovering around a date. I am really excited. I spent seven years seeking the ideal team to work with. During rehearsals, I get very emotional. It’s a fiction story, but 80 percent of the story comes from personal experience. How do you weave the narrative into the music and songs for it to flow. Miraculously, it’s happened. It’s the opposite of a jukebox musical and is very exciting.”
It takes a lot of courage to go in that direction with your music, your life, doesn’t it?
“I keep thinking of how brave you have to be, but this genre is so wonderful to me. There is wonderful storytelling and narrative, and exciting portrayals and a real community of people working together. It’s long-term professional commitment, you’re in it to win it, together, with all my favorite elements.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.