No shrinking 'Violet' 


Bobbi Bates and Carvis Herron Jr. in Buck Creek Players’ production of the Indiana premiere of ‘Violet.’

D. Scott Robinson may have a golden touch. This is for certain: Robinson, the same person who directed the phenomenal Side Show at Buck Creek Players in September of 2002, has crafted yet another Best Of contender in Buck Creek’s current musical, Violet.

Set in the early ’60s, Violet is traveling halfway across the country to meet a televangelist she is convinced can heal the disfiguring scar she received at the age of 13. Along the way, she meets two soldiers who will change her life.

Rarely is a show as polished on opening weekend as this one was. Performances were strong and confident across the board. Starring as Violet, Bobbi Bates exhibited complete control over her musical numbers, and created a character that you can actually cry for. So real is Violet that you take every step with her along her journeys — the physical and the emotional.

As young Violet, Grace Morgan showed a confidence and comfort on stage that few child actors exhibit. Carvis Herron Jr. as the soldier Flick and Travis N. Jenson as soldier Monty were two boys playing a game, until their real personalities came through, and both created moving performances.

There are many strong numbers in this show, and a large ensemble fleshed them out: Just a few include “Surprised” (with effective stop-motion effects), “On My Way,” “Luck of the Draw,” “All to Pieces” “Let It Sing” and more — the show has an excellent soundtrack. The only time a blooper arose was with “Who’ll Be the One (If Not Me),” which was too loud for its purpose.

So worth the drive, Violet continues at Buck Creek Players through June 20. Buck Creek is located at 11150 Southeastern Ave.; 862-2270.

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