A review of the play Violet

Essay by ashwill33University, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

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The play "Violet" takes place in the mid-1960's and focuses on a young woman in search for a miracle, and who bears a horrendous scar on her face from an accident when she was a child. The musical opens with Violet boarding a Greyhound bus that is traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she hopes to be physically healed by a famous TV preacher. On her journey of self-discovery, she meets several people, including two soldiers, who soon become her friends. As the young adults traveling advances, so does their understanding of many important lessons and choices about life and growing up. Throughout the play, Violet flashes back to her childhood memories, especially those moments with her father, whom she condemns total responsibility for the accident. Ultimately, Violet experiences a form of healing that is truly more important than the physical miracle she was searching for.

The books and lyrics of "Violet" were composed by Brian Crawley and music by Jeanine Tesori. The musical was based on "The Ugliest Pilgrim" written by Doris Betts. The story has its strong and weak aspects. Although an understanding of relationships in a story, much less a musical, can be difficult to portray, were for the most part depicted very well. However, the play failed to represent a fully developed relationship between Violet and Flick, an African-American soldier. The comical moments and witty sarcasm also benefit the story and kept the audience's interest when a song was not being belted out by one of the talented characters. Furthermore, the flashbacks used throughout the play, although they are important for giving background information, were at times quite confusing and hard to follow.

Scenic designer, F. Nels Anderson, designed the set that included many props located on two sliding platforms from each side of...