Unsentimental Journey

Violet traverses musical genres, social problems, and Southern bus stops

Whitney Weber's role as the young Violet adds a dimension to the lead character that is one of the play's strongest points. As a young singer, Weber displays an impressive control and vitality. She knows when to croon and when to belt out a tune. Her singing extends naturally from her performance, giving her gestures sincerity and her character an endearing charm. The timing between Hughes and Weber is exceptional. Weber often shadows Violet upstage, and she does it with great ease, producing an engaging visual equilibrium. In one particularly poignant scene Violet's father (Gary Marachek) teaches her to dance. While she careens around the room on top of Daddy's work boots, adult Violet waltzes with Monty.

Two guys, a girl, a bus -- and a changing America circa 1964
Two guys, a girl, a bus -- and a changing America circa 1964

Details

Book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, based on The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts. Music by Jeanine Tesori. Through April 1 , 305-444-9293.
Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

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So many "ethnic" musicals (The King and I and West Side Story come to mind) hold social and historical significance only as artifacts of days gone by. Violet is not such a work. I would have liked a more solitary ending, because the journey was such a personal one, but it's refreshing to see a musical not just consciously acknowledge the historical realties of its time period but actually deal with them within the script and characters.

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