The Nashville premiere of the critically-acclaimed musical Violet hits the Street Theatre Company stage tonight. Set in 1964 in the Deep South during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, the show (with a book by Brian Crawley, music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics by Crawley) follows the enlightenment of a bitter young woman accidentally scarred by her father. In hopes that a TV evangelist can cure her, she embarks on a journey by bus. Along the way, she meets a young black soldier who teaches her about beauty, love, courage and what it means to be an outsider.
While originally produced Off-Broadway in the mid-nineties, Violet coincidentally made its Broadway premiere this month at the Roundabout Theatre Company with a production starring Sutton Foster. Violet is based on the book “The Ugliest Pilgrim” and explores the universal human experience of feeling figuratively ugly, lonely or scarred by giving Violet a literal scar to overcome; in the process, she takes a journey to discover who she really is and what real beauty means. The cast features a number of Nashville professional artists including Cathy Street as Violet, Randy Craft as Monty, DeVon Buchanan as Flick and introducing Virginia Richardson as Young Violet. Violet features direction by Jason Tucker and musical direction by Rollie Mains.
Violet runs through May 4 with tickets ranging from $18 to $24 plus a pay-what-you-can option on every Sunday show. For more info and tickets visit www.streettheatrecompany.org. Performances are at Street Theatre, 1933 Elm Hill Pike, just off the Briley Parkway. For more information, call (615) 554-7414. Street Theatre Company is supported by Metro Nashville Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission.
*Photos by Heavenly Perspective Photography of (l to r) DeVon Buchanan, Randy Craft, Cathy Street and (l to r) Virginia Richardson, Cathy Street courtesy Street Theatre Company.