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[Image via WENN.]
Sutton Foster is not even 40 years old yet and she is already one of the greatest musical theater actresses of all time!!!!
Like Audra McDonald, there seems to be nothing Sutton can't do on the stage!
In the Roundabout Theater Company's new Broadway production of Violet, Foster plays the title character, for which she was just nominated for a Tony, and she gets to show so much range as an actress/singer.
This isn't her typical musical comedy role. This is a character in pain, disfigured, seeking salvation, LONGING for love and so vulnerable! And Sutton plays all those moments beautifully, as well as adding some much-needed lightheartedness also.
Foster is in the show almost the entire time, which means we are blessed with song after song in which she's soars - solo or with a partner.
Her voice sounds SOOOOOO GOOD in this!!!
Lots of great tunes in this show, with church number Raise Me Up particularly bringing the roof down!
And besides Sutton, Joshua Henry is also superb as a potential suitor of Violet's.
The show is very satisfying, BUT….
It would have been even more enjoyable under different direction!
Director Leigh Silverman's vision seemed basic and uninspired. And some of his choices were just misguided.
Having the orchestra on stage in this show really took away. It felt like an Encores production, which is where this revival of Violet began. But it shouldn't have remained that way for the Broadway transfer!
Whereas in Chicago, which also got its revival start at Encores, the orchestra is addressed and makes sense - in Violet the orchestra is ignored and unnecessary on stage. They're distracting!
So many moments could have been more beautiful and poignant if there ware more of a set for them and lighting focus.
And, another puzzling decision, for which we can only blame the director, is the choice to have Sutton's character NOT have a visible scar. Violet suffered a serious accident at a young age and was left with a horrible facial reminder, which affects the way people treat her, yet that is not visually represented on Foster's face.
We didn't need Phantom Of The Opera makeup, but we needed SOMETHING!
Thankfully, though, the show's music and actors more than make up for those shortcomings.