Wednesday last week had SydneySocial 101 at the theatre for the evening. We were invited to a showing of Jeanine Tesori’s musical Violet, with direction by Mitchell Butel, icon of the Australian Theatre and three time Helpmann Award winner and Musical Direction by Lucy Bermingham (Strictly Ballroom, Guilty Pleasures). The story revolves around young naive Violet in the 1960s as she takes the bus from her family farm across the breadth of America to meet a televangelist whom she believes can cure her of her horrible facial scaring. Along the way she gets to know her fellow bus travellers on their own journeys as she begins to discover that things aren’t always as they first appear to be and that love is more important than beauty.

Blue Saint Productions - Violet - Grant Leslie Photography

Barry Conrad, Samantha Dodemaide, Stephen Danielsen

This stirring love story drew the crowd in as they closely followed Violet, Samantha Dodemaide, on her journey. There were brilliant comedic moments that had the audience in stitches; such as the incredible Hotel Hooker (Genevieve Lemon) who stumbled across the stage with her authentic drunken slur as she sang of the injustice of being so blue when Anyone Would Do (“if I’m alone I’m not right, don’t know what I’d do if I can’t have you to hold tonight”) perfectly bouncing into and off of the wall, casually mistaking it for the exit door as she left the stage.  Violet’s father, performed by Damien Bermingham, entranced the audience to silent awe as he gave his soulful rendition of That’s What I Could Do. There were certainly a few damp eyes after his scene faded to black.

Genevieve Lemon, Elenoa Rokobaro, Linden Furnell, Katie Elle Reeve

Genevieve Lemon, Elenoa Rokobaro, Linden Furnell, Katie Elle Reeve

The small stage of the Hayes Theatre easily encompassed the players and the simple set design allowed for more to be shown through the players and gave them ample space to sing and interact. Though there’s no break in the 1hour 45 minute session, the songs swiftly ripple out in a timely succession. Violet is showing Tuesday to Sunday evenings with weekend matinee performances till 20th December. This Off-Broadway hit is a satisfying and expressive musical that is definitely not to be missed.

When: Now till Sunday 20 December 2015

Performances: Tues – Sat 8pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 3pm and 7pm

Where: Hayes Theatre, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point

Tickets: $54 full, $49 concession

Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes, without an interval

Website: http://www.hayestheatre.com.au/coming-soon/violet.html

 

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Local Sydney girl who enjoys popping out for a drink or dropping by the theatre or a night around town, then coming home to write all about it!

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