“Violet” review: KCMetropolis.org

“Violet” review: KCMetropolis.org

Spinning Tree Theatre directors Michael Grayman and Andy Parkhurst have a knack for producing unusual theatre. They combine the best of Kansas City’s actors and musicians with cool venues and often quirky or edgy material. The fact that they’ve only been around for four seasons hasn’t fazed them at all. They have never shied away from a challenge, and Violet presents more than one kind of challenge, both to the producers and to the audience.

Violet tells the story of a young woman travelling …

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“Violet” review: The Pitch

“Violet” review: The Pitch

It’s 1964 when a young woman sets off on a long road trip — a pilgrimage, she calls it. We go along as the play named for its title character recounts that journey. As travel often teaches us, the excursion is at least as important as the destination. Spinning Tree Theatre’s Violet bears that out — it’s a trip well worth taking, for its heroine and for us.

Based on Doris Betts’ story “The Ugliest Pilgrim,” Violet was first staged off-Broadway in 1997. The musical, by …

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“Violet” review: The Kansas City Star

“Violet” review: The Kansas City Star

It’s tough to imagine a production of “Violet,” a musical by composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist Brian Crawley, with more committed performances than you’ll see at Just Off Broadway Theatre.

This production from Spinning Tree Theatre makes for a remarkable two hours.

I saw the Broadway version with Sutton Foster in the title role last spring. Athough respectably done on every level, the show felt chilly and distant. Tesori’s dynamic score signals at the outset that this musical is supposed to generate heat. The Spinning Tree show, …

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“Violet” Opening Night Party Pix

“Violet” Opening Night Party Pix

Lauren Braton (Violet) and Vigthor Zophoniasson (Spinning Tree productions of “The Fantasticks,” “Master Class” and “A Little Night Music”)

 

Daniel Beeman (Monty), Kathryn Long Wilson and Brian Wilson (Bass)

 

Cast member Katie Hulla (right)

 

Matthew A. King (Flick, right)

 

Guitarist Erik Voeks (right)

 

Cast member Bob Wearing (left)

 

Cast member Linnaia McKenzie (left)

 

Cast members Katie Hulla, Jake Bartley and Devyn Trondson

 

Damian Blake (Preacher and other roles)

 

VIOLET Opening Night party photography by Michael Morris

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“Violet” Production Photos

“Violet” Production Photos

Lauren Braton as Violet and Daniel Beeman as Monty in “Lay Down Your Head”

 

Matthew A. King as Flick, Lauren Braton as Violet and Julie Shaw as Old Lady in “On My Way”

 

Damian Blake as Preacher and Company in “Raise Me Up”

 

Matthew A. King as Flick

 

Linnaia McKenzie as Lula and Company in “Raise Me Up”

 

Matthew A. King as Flick, Lauren Braton as Violet and Company in “Bring me to Light”

 

VIOLET photography by Brian Paulette

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NPR Director’s Cut on “Violet”

NPR Director’s Cut on “Violet”

KCUR FM’s Steve Walker sat down with “Violet” directors Michael Grayman and Andy Parkhurst to discuss the Kansas City premiere of the award-winning musical.

Read the full article and see rehearsal footage HERE

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The Kansas City Star Profiles KC Premiere of Musical “Violet”

The Kansas City Star Profiles KC Premiere of Musical “Violet”

Read the entire article HERE

 

The Kansas City Star

Robert Trussell

November 6, 2014

 

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Original “Violet” Lauren Ward Visits

Original “Violet” Lauren Ward Visits

On Tuesday, October 21, Lauren Ward, Kansas City native and the actress who created the role of VIOLET, visited Spinning Tree Theatre’s first night of rehearsal. She spoke with the company about her experience with VIOLET and her career since. Lauren was nominated for the Tony Award last year for creating the role of Miss Honey in MATILDA THE MUSICAL.

 

Lauren Ward with the cast of the Kansas City premiere of VIOLET

 

Original VIOLET Lauren Ward with KC premiere VIOLET Lauren Braton. Both Kansas City gals, both …

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Meet the Cast of “Violet”

Meet the Cast of “Violet”

 

Lauren Braton (Violet). Spinning Tree: A Little Night Music (Countess Charlotte Malcolm).   Local credits: Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Quality Hill Playhouse, Musical Theater Heritage, American Heartland Theatre, Coterie Theatre, Starlight Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Metropolitan Ensemble Theater, and Kansas City Civic Opera. Regional Credits: Arrow Rock Lyceum and Seagle Music Colony New York. Ms. Braton has a private voice studio at Kansas City Young Audiences, and also stays busy with commercial, film and voiceover work. Up next: That’s Entertainment – The MGM Years at Quality Hill …

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“Violet” Single Tickets On Sale Now

“Violet” Single Tickets On Sale Now

BUY “VIOLET” TICKETS or call (816) 569-5277

 

Set in the American South of 1964, VIOLET follows the journey of a young woman accidentally scarred by her father. Violet travels by bus from her home in North Carolina to a televangelist in Oklahoma she believes will cure her. She meets several interesting characters along the way, including a young black soldier who helps Violet learn about real beauty and love. Spinning Tree Theatre is one of the first regional theatres to produce VIOLET following its limited Broadway …

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