Book and Lyrics by Brian Crawley
Music by Jeanine Tesori
“A healing journey….The Gallery Players in Park Slope, Brooklyn, led the audience on a beautifully sung and touching pilgrimage…” – Staten Island Advance
“One of the things I admire most about Gallery Players is their commitment to bringing contemporary musicals back to the New York stage for a second viewing….I’m grateful to have had a chance to see [Violet] at long last; if you didn’t catch it during its brief run a decade ago (and only about 5,000 people did), then take advantage of this opportunity….The Gallery Players takes a risk putting a lesser-known musical like this on the boards, and they deserve to be rewarded for it. Fans of musical theatre especially won’t want to miss this rare revival of Violet.” – nytheatre.com
“Violet is a road-trip of a show about a girl in search of herself, and The Gallery Players have mounted a fine,…affecting production. That itâ€™s as moving as it is comes from some excellent acting in parts large and small, but mostly by Rhyn McLemore as the title character, a girl who has to be bold and straightforward at the same time sheâ€™s on her quixotic quest….With minimal scenery, good lighting and costumes, and a four person band that sounded much more extensive, The Gallery Players are celebrating their 40th anniversary with another high achievement.” – Off-Off Broadway Review
Producer: RenÃ© M. Becker
Director: M. R. Goodley
Music Director: Jeffrey Campos
Choreographer: Vibecke Dahle
Set Designer: Charlie Corcoran
Lighting Designer: Todd Reemtsma
Costume Designer: Lillian Rhiger
Fight Choreographer: Ian Marshall
Production Stage Manager: Autumn Tilson
Assistant Stage Managers: Emily Durning & Sara McLoud
Young Violet: Anne Berkowitz*
Father: Brad Thomason*
Violet: Rhyn McLemore*
Flick: Collin Howard
Monty: Shad Olsen
Preacher & Various: Jan-Peter Pedross*
Old Lady & Various: Sarah Orr*
Music Hall Singer & etc: Marcie Henderson*
Radio Solo & Various: Brian Michael Flanagan*
Billy Dean & Various: Jeremy Ritz
Gospel Soloist & Various: Yolanda Batts
Ensemble: Julie Galorenzo, Tyler Marcum, Julie Rees
* Member, Actors’ Equity Association
February 17-March 11, 2007
Rhyn McLemore as Violet. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais
Fulfilling its mission to bring new musicals to a wider audience, The Gallery Players, Brooklynâ€™s premiere Off-Off Broadway theatre, is proud to present Violet, the 1997 musical with book and lyrics by Brian Crawley and music by Jeanine Tesori, composer of critically acclaimed Caroline, Or Change and Thoroughly Modern Millie, from February 17-March 11, 2007. Directed by M. R. Goodley.
Set in 1964 during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, Violet follows the growth and enlightenment of a bitter young woman accidentally scarred by her father. In hopes that a TV evangelist can cure her, she embarks on a journey by bus and along the way, meets a young black soldier who teaches her about beauty, love, courage and what it means to be an outsider. Director M.R. Goodley notes, â€œ1964 was a time of unrest, of upheaval, of transition to a whole new world. Americans were beginning to look twice at their â€˜normalâ€™ everyday life and see the inequalities â€“ social, political, racial, economic and sexual â€“ underneath. It makes a very powerful statement that is still valid in 2007. This musical has one of the most exciting scores, and one of the strongest stories, that I have ever had the pleasure of directing.â€
One of the most acclaimed off-Broadway shows of the â€™90s, Violet is based on Doris Betts’ short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim,” and adapted to the stage by Brian Crawley, who wrote the book and lyrics. Music, by Jeanine Tesori, is original yet true to its ’60s setting, drawing on blues and bluegrass as well as rock, country and gospel. The play opened in 1997 to critical acclaim and won the New York Drama Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Musical as well as the Richard Rodgers Production Award.
(l to r) Shad Olsen as Monty, Collin Howard as Flick, and Rhyn McLemore as Violet. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais
Jan-Peter Pedross as Preacher. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais
Located in Park Slope, but beloved on both sides of the Brooklyn Bridge, The Gallery Players have been called â€œlocal heroesâ€ by Time Out New York and past productions have earned the praise of respected theater artists such as Terrence McNally, Rupert Holmes, James Rado, AndrÃ© De Shields, Annie Golden, Lorraine Serabian, and others. An Equity Showcase House celebrating its 40th season, The Gallery Playersâ€™ exciting productions and nurturing atmosphere have attracted the best actors, directors, designers, and musicians in New York. Among the well-known alumni of The Gallery Players are Harvey Fierstein (Fiddler On the Roof, Hairspray, Torch Song Trilogy), Jennifer Barnhart (Avenue Q), Manoel Felciano (Sweeney Todd), Diedre Goodwin (A Chorus Line, Chicago), Garrett Long (The Spitfire Grill), John Rando (director of Broadwayâ€™s Urinetown and The Wedding Singer), Brian Charles Rooney (The Threepenny Opera), Fred Rose (Company), and many other artists.
Further information can be found at www.galleryplayers.com. Individual tickets for each performance are $18 for Adults and $14 for Children 12 and under and Senior Citizens. Individual tickets can be purchased at www.galleryplayers.com or by calling (212) 352-3101. Performances take place Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8PM, and Sundays at 3PM.
Act One Finale. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais
The Gallery Players is located at 199 14th Street, between 4th and 5th Avenues in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Take the F Train to 4th Avenue or the R Train to 9th Street. By car, take the BQE to Hamilton Avenue, and Hamilton Avenue to 14th Street.
Collin Howard as Flick and Rhyn McLemore as Violet. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais