Sutton Foster, Colin Donnell, and Joshua Henry Talk About the Beauty in VIOLET
Two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, Colin Donnell, Alexander Gemignani, and Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry star in Violet with Ben Davis, Annie Golden, Emerson Steele, Austin Lesch,Anastacia McCleskey, Charlie Pollock, Jacob Keith Watson, Rema Webb and Virginia Ann Woodruff. Violet officially opens on April 20, 2014 at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street) for a 20-week limited engagement.
Based on the short story "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts, Violet tells the story of a young woman's quest for beauty amidst the image-obsessed landscape of the 1960s. Facially disfigured in a childhood accident, Violet (Foster) dreams of a miraculous transformation through the power of faith. Convinced that a televangelist in Oklahoma can heal her, she hops a Greyhound bus and starts the journey of a lifetime. Along the way, Violet forms unlikely friendships with her fellow riders, who teach her about beauty, love, courage and what it means to be an outsider.
In the show, the audience is aware that Violet is disfigured; however, Foster has no makeup or mask on to physically show it. She says, "Everybody has scars. Some you can see and some you can't. Violet's was literally given to her by her father - accidentally, but nevertheless. I think we all carry around these scars that we deal with every day. And there is something about this character that resonates on a deep level with me personally."
Donnell and Henry play the two characters Violet befriends on her journey. Donnell states, "One unique thing about Flick and Monty is that the scar does not affect them the way it affects other people. The reason Violet attaches herself to us - and us to her - is we're unaffected by it. Shortly after meeting, we joke about it. For whatever reason, we are able to see the person beyond the disfigurement."
Violet was first staged in 1997 and Foster believes that this is the perfect day and age for Violet to have been brought back. She said, "This turns out to be a great time to bring it back, especially in an age when people have such an obsession for physical beauty, when people can go and change their looks whenever they want. For thousands of dollars, they can be who they want to be. Violet has a song where she describes Judy Garland's chin and Grace Kelly's nose and Rita Hayworth's skin. In this day and age, you can buy all that!"
Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel