Arts Read of the Week: 4/21/14

“She dazzles with the bright sheen of her voice, yes, and slings wry jokes with the ease of a diner waitress slapping down plates of eggs and grits,” The New York Times critic Charles Isherwood writes of actress Sutton Foster. “But she also brings a prickly emotional intensity to the moving story of a woman grappling with shame, self-delusion and the fear that a deformity will forever leave her standing alone outside the circle of humanity.”

This is a review on Violet on Broadway – or should I say Sutton Foster’s performance in Violet on Broadway. What makes this review special is its lede, which hooks those in the crowd who are Sutton Foster fanatics.

Drama critic Charles Isherwood writes, “When Sutton Foster appears on Broadway, she’s usually boasting a sunbeam smile, flapping away in tap shoes, clowning around amiably and generally behaving like a girl determined to nail the talent competition in a beauty pageant, and maybe take home the Miss Congeniality award, too. But pep-allergic people will not need to steel themselves to see the terrific, heart-stirring revival of “Violet,” the musical by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley that opened at the American Airlines Theater on Sunday night, starring Ms. Foster in a career-redefining performance.”

Isherwood does an excellent job at appealing to an audience of Foster fans as well as the theatre crowd in general by giving background on several other members of the creative team of the show.

What is especially notable about this show is that it is not Foster’s and Jeanine Tesori’s first time working together. Tesori wrote the score for Thoroughly Modern Millie, where Foster originated the role in the stage adaptation in 2000.


For the full article, visit




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