Violet

Jan. 24—Feb. 23 $35–$62
Ford's Theatre
511 10th St. NW, Washington, DC
Map
(202) 347-4833
Violet is a storm of need and emotion, hurling itself across the footlights, desperate to make us care. I wish I did. Violet, mocked for her disfigured face since a childhood ax accident, will encounter a pair of soldiers, one white and one black, and she will both learn hard lessons and find understanding among people who know what it’s like to be scorned for their looks. Well and good, but unsubtle, and with an Act 1 that’s a slow hour and 20 minutes long, that’s a parable that takes its time getting to its message. There are actually some considerable pleasures in the Ford’s production, if you’re game for the ride. Kevin McAllister, playing a gentle giant of an Army sergeant, falls sweetly and convincingly for our abrasive, defensive heroine, and he sings the everloving bejesus out of every phrase. And the show’s ensemble numbers, whether it’s a cocktail crowd rowdying it up in a Memphis club or the choir rehearsing once the action reaches that Tulsa TV studio, are rousing, richly sung experiences. [TG]

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