Best Musical (Theater) Minneapolis 2011 - Violet (Theater Latte Da)
In the Deep South at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, a horribly disfigured woman takes a bus to visit a faith healer in Oklahoma. Violet's hope is that the man can fix her face and finally allow her to live a full life. Jeanine Tesori (who also wrote the music for the masterful Caroline, or Change) and Brian Crawley's musical features themes of identity and looking beneath the skin (Violet befriends a young black soldier on the bus) that swirl through the action. Centered on a terrific turn by Britta Ollman in the title role, the musical featured a top-notch cast who found the heart of Tesori's folk- and gospel-tinged score. The minimalist set and gentle direction from Peter Rothstein only helped to focus the attention where it belonged—on the characters.