Susan Schulman recreates her Off-Broadway staging of Violet at Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre, opening Oct. 22 and continuing through Nov. 15. Lauren Ward recreates her New York title role in Washington.
The beloved but short-lived 1997 musical, by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist-lyricist Brian Crawley, was embraced by New York audiences for its intimate, humane story of a scarred girl traveling the South for spiritual and physical healing. It won the Richard Rodgers Musical Production Award for new work and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical of 1997. The independently-produced original cast album, on the Resmiranda label, was released Oct. 13.
New York insiders say producers were reluctant to move the show from its nonprofit Playwrights Horizons run to a commercial stand after the negative New York Times review appeared.
The Seattle staging features Scott Beck as Monty and Robert Barry Fleming as Flick. Also in the company are Keesha Fleth, David Gangler, Brad Gooding, Sharva Maynard, Kim Moore, Vicki Noon, Roz White and John Wilkerson.
Kathleen Marshall choreographs. Designers are Derek McLane (sets), Cathy Zuber (costumes), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting) and Beth Berkeley (sound). Violet is based on "The Ugliest Pilgrim," a short story by Doris Betts.
ACT previews for Violet played Oct. 16-21. Tickets are $25-$38. For ACT information, call (206) 292-7676.
-- By Kenneth Jones