Ticket Type: Box Seat
Viewing Angle: Restricted view of Stage Left, Missed a few moments of dialogue, but not enough to spoil the show.
Price: $40 – Student Rush
Location: American Airlines Theatre
The best way to describe Violet is that it’s a one-act musical starring Sutton Foster, as Violet who travels across America in order to see an evangelical preacher who she hopes will produce a miracle and heal the scar that is laid across her face. She encounters a variety of characters, but most importantly two soldiers Flick (Joshua Henry) and Monty (Alexander Gemingnani) who befriend her regardless of what she looks like.
This show is worth seeing just to hear the three leads sing. This was my first experience seeing Sutton Foster live and it is easy to see why she is consistently in high demand every season. Foster manages to emphasize and change the tone of any scene at an instance and take the audience along with her. While Joshua Henry’s voice prompted an arousing applause for which began 30 seconds before ”Let it sing” had even finished. It’s also nice to see Annie Golden from Orange is the New Black fame perform with such a beautiful voice.
Now, Violet is meant to have a scar, in this production they have made the choice to not physically place a scar on her face and instead just had Sutton Foster wear no makeup. This was an interesting choice, which does set up an interesting moment at the climax of the story, which is justified. The story itself is quite simple, but some of the motivations of characters are a bit blurred and relationships take broad brushstrokes, which have little reasoning behind them, well not logical reasoning anyway. There is some worth in the book as it does explore how as humans we place importance on superficial concepts in order to redirect inner conflict and help us through the day.
The set is static with orchestra on stage blending in to the interior of a bus terminal, which only disappears for the biggest gospel number “Raise me up”. The simplicity of the set suits this show and is detailed enough to be a spectacle.
Overall Violet is a One-Act musical where you get to hear some great performances while spending the first 15 minutes trying to figure out what the story is and where it is actually going. It has good production value, but once is probably enough.