While Illinois's Apple Tree Theatre recently extended their production of the Jeanine Tesori-Brian Crawley musical Violet through the end of May, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati is just about to open its own mounting of the show.
Based on the Doris Betts short story, "The Ugliest Pilgrim," Violet tells of a young woman who travels across the South, seeking an evangelist whom she believes can cure her disfigured face. Along the way she meets two soldiers who become her traveling companions. Tesori (Twelfth Night, First Picture Show) wrote the score, with Crawley providing the book and lyrics. The New York production went on to win a NY Drama Critics Circle Award and a Richard Rodgers Award, both in 1997.
Tesori was recently nominated for a 1999 Tony Award for her score to the Lincoln Center production of Twelfth Night. The nomination was unusual because the category traditionally recognizes new musicals, rather than incidental music.
Producing artistic director D. Lynn Meyers directs the E.T.C. mounting of Violet, which features musical direction by David Kisor. Designing the show are Brian Mehring (lighting/set) and Gretchen Vaughn (costumes).
For tickets and information on Violet call (513) 421-3555. -- By David Lefkowitz and Sean McGrath