Violet, the 1997 musical by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley, is pretty different as far as stories go: there kind of isn’t one. It’s more of a character study of our titular gal and two supporting men. The score is completely mixed, with some incredible songs and some that should have been cut, or at least cut in half, so the show depends entirely on a superstrong production in order to succeed. When I first saw Violet, it was the 2014 Broadway production with Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry, and it was so shiny and bright and impressive that I barely noticed that a compelling story was missing. With smaller productions, like the current one at the Charing Cross theatre, it’s harder to hide the show’s flaws. Although it’s a pretty nice production with some great talent, it’s clear that Violet is a rather mediocre show – decent and sweet, but mediocre – and there’s nothing anyone can do to hide it without the distraction of Broadway excess.
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