Violet

11 December 2015 | 4:19 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

"Samantha Dodemaide makes a compelling Violet, a woman newly emerging into the world but still allowed to be prickly and world weary."

Violet has been dreaming of a miracle from the moment an axe her father was wielding flew off its handle when she was young and gave her a disfiguring scar. Now a young woman, Violet — having saved all her pennies — waits at a bus stand in her hokey, little mountain town ready to take off after a healing preacher in hope of her miracle.

Tony Award-winning writer Jeanine Tesori sends Violet on a journey of self discovery, where she encounters far more redemptive characters than her preacher. Samantha Dodemaide makes a compelling Violet, a woman newly emerging into the world but still allowed to be prickly and world weary. Violet certainly isn't shrinking when she meets two soldiers on her troubles, the smooth-talking but ultimately sweet Monty and the earnest and far more considerate Flick. Each of the cast gets a chance to step into the limelight here and together they turn this short, sharp musical into something memorable.

Unfortunately, once again the balance of voices to music is off — a problem often encountered in the small Hayes Theatre — but regardless, the space gives this production the right amount of intimacy to make the later scenes, when Violet finally confronts her defects, with help from Damien Bermingham playing Violet's father, truly moving.

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