Violet first debuted Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in February 14, 1997. The production, directed by Susan H. Schulman, played a limited engagement through March 30, 1997, winning the Obie Award, Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical.
With music by Tesori and book and lyrics by Crawley, Violet tells the story of a young woman’s quest for beauty amidst the image-obsessed landscape of the 1960s. Facially disfigured in a childhood accident, Violet dreams of a miraculous transformation through the power of faith. Convinced that a televangelist in Oklahoma can heal her, she hops a Greyhound bus and starts the journey of a lifetime.
The Off-Broadway production starred Stephen Lee Anderson, Lauren Ward, Roz Ryan, Amanda Posner, Michael Park, Paula Newsome, Cass Morgan, Michael Medeiros, Michael McElroy, Kirk McDonald, and Robert Westenberg.
The musical finally made its way to Broadway 17 years later, playing the American Airlines Theatre in 2014. The revival, based on the 2013 New York City Center Encores! Off-Center presentation, was directed by Leigh Silverman.
The Broadway production starred Sutton Foster as Violet, Colin Donnell as Monty, Alexander Gemignani as Father, and Joshua Henry as Flick. Rounding out the company were Ben Davis, Annie Golden, Emerson Steele, Austin Lesch, Anastacia McCleskey, Charlie Pollock, and Rema Webb.