Violet | Mercury Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Violet Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 16 2011

Based on Doris Betts's short story "The Ugliest Pilgrim," this 1997 chamber musical depicts a spunky young woman's bus ride from rural North Carolina to Tulsa to see a TV preacher about healing her disfiguring facial scar. Like the Wizard of Oz, the magus at the end of the road turns out to be a fraud--but of course the real lessons are learned along the way. As adapted by Brian Crawley, both the plot and characters feel a little thin. But Jeanine Tesori's score--a complex blend of bluegrass, jazz, blues, and gospel--is lovely. Its intricate harmonies are a pleasure to hear in Bailiwick Chicago's beautifully sung production. --Zac Thompson

Price: $18-$30

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