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 so with great ease, which produces 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.

A girl and two guys on a bus -- and a changing America circa 1964
A girl and two guys on a bus -- and a changing America circa 1964

Details

Through April 1; 305-444-9293. Book and lyrics by Brian Crawley.
Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

So many "ethnic" musicals (The King and I and West Side Story come to mind) often only hold a social and historical significance as artifacts of days gone by. Violet is not such a musical. I would have liked to have seen a more solitary ending, since 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 deal with them within the script and the characters.

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