"Violet" never had especially long runs, either on Broadway or off-Broadway, but people who have seen it heap praise upon it.
It won all the major off-Broadway awards and was nominated for four Tony Awards.
Now local audiences can see what all the fuss is about.
The Players Theatre of Sarasota is staging "Violet" through March 1.
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The musical dates back to the mid-1990s. After original regional productions, it played for a few weeks off-Broadway in 1997, then was revised as a one-act staged concert starring the great Sutton Foster. Foster then starred in a one-act version of the musical on Broadway last year.
The story, set in 1964, revolves around a young woman with a facial disfigurement who sets off on a cross-country bus trip to see a preacher who she hopes can heal her. Along the way, in the Deep South, she encounters an African-American army sergeant, who obviously has learned what it's like to be publicly judged by his appearance.
The music comes from Jeanine Tesori, best know for "Shrek: The Musical." Even though it has no familiar songs, the album made it to No. 3 on the Billboard Cast Albums chart in 2014.
The Players Theatre production stars Kathryn Parks and it's co-directed by Pamela Wiley and Bob Trisolini.
Details: Feb. 11- March 1, The Players Theatre, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. Tickets: $25-$30. Information: 941-365-2494, theplayers.org.
-- Marty Clear