Violet: A New Musical | Stage | Indy Week
This is a past event.

Violet: A New Musical 

When: Aug. 17-28 2011
Price: $18-22
www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org

The young woman, traveling alone on a Greyhound bus sometime in 1964, can't admit the desperation of the pilgrimage she's on. At 13, she was disfigured when a shim in her father's ax came loose and struck her in the face. Now nearly twice that age, she's off to seek out the man who holds her only chance at healing. He's a televangelist she watches each week on TV. The bus is headed to Tulsa, Okla.

Violet, a stage adaptation of Doris Betts' famous short story "The Ugliest Pilgrim," isn't exactly the "new musical" promised by its billing in the "Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy" series. Not when its initial off-Broadway production took the New York Drama Critics' Circle and Lucille Lortel Award for best musical 14 years ago. And certainly not since Playmakers Rep closed its 1999 season with a regional premiere featuring Eric Woodall, the current show's director, and cast member Yolanda Rabun in stage roles. But composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Brian Crawley's articulate and atmospheric musical takes its audience and its central character on quite a ride. On her quest Violet encounters people who aid in her transformation from innocence to experience—a form of faith healing different than anything she's imagined.

Woodall, a regular on Raleigh main stages before heading off to Carnegie Mellon and New York, returns to direct another theatrical frequent flier, Lauren Kennedy, in the title role. The play runs Wednesdays–Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Aug. 28. —Byron Woods

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