John Szablewski Previews

First Look: ‘Violet’ by MusicalFare Theatre

There are those who go to the theatre to be exposed to stories. There are those who go to the theatre to be entertained, and there are those who go to the theatre to seek personal change. How can we be a better person?  How can we learn to be empathetic to those who are not as fortunate as us?

“I believe that theatre changes people,” says Susan Drozd, the director of MusicalFare Theatre’s next show of the season “Violet.” “You go in as one person and you leave as another.”

Theatre changes people? It can when the story that is presented to the audience includes characters who are relatable. We have all had problems, and sought help to fix problems that we find to be important. In the story of “Violet,” a woman’s journey to be cured from a scarring accident is one that many audience members will find relatable.

“This show is beautifully placed in the season,” says Drozd, “it’s a story about change and forgiveness, understanding who we are, and the communities that we are part of.”

“Violet” is based on the short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts. It premiered off-Broadway in 1997 and after a revamp it premiered on Broadway in 2014. “The show was tweaked and the story was made clearer,” says Drozd.

The story is simple. Violet experiences a tragic accident when she is younger, that leaves a scar on her face. Being self conscious of the scar for her entire life, Violet saves money to visit a Evangelist in Tulsa Oklahoma who has had success in curing people who have come to him for help. “It’s not the most predictable story,” says Drozd, “we as the audience are always wondering who she is going to meet next on her journey.”

Drozd says that the cast in this show has really outdone themselves. “We see some regular performers in this show, and some new performers. Each one of the cast has put in lots of care in their roles and they all carry the story well.”

Drozd says that listening to her actors sing the music by Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home,” “Shrek The Musical,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”) and lyrics by Brain Crawley is a wonderful experience. “Their voices are lovely to hear, and sometimes I find myself standing in-between them just listening.”

Drozd says that MusicalFare has been planning to produce “Violet” for a while, but the timing was just right now. “This is a Buffalo premiere, and I think our audiences will really enjoy this story. I always tell people to try a show that they don’t know. They will be pleasantly surprised.”

“Violet” runs November 2 – December 3, 2017 and is presented at MusicalFare Theatre. For more information, click here.

Promotional Consideration Paid For By The Theatre Alliance Of Buffalo