BY Ashley Mott, Arts & Entertainment Editor
The Cleveland State Theatre and Dance Department produced the show “VIOLET” for audiences to come from all over the Cleveland area to see and enjoy. From the first ballad of the show to the ending scene, the performers had the audience hanging on to their every word. Rebekah Ferro played Violet, the leading lady of the show, and astounded the audience with the melodic tones of her voice.
On a journey to find a preacher who could heal the scar on her face, the character Violet was determined to let nothing stop her from her ideal look. She came across characters Flick and Monty, played by actors Anthony Brown and Frank Ivancic, who were soldiers during the Vietnam war. While they seemed at first to be strangers just crossing paths, it was these two men who became a guiding light for her to find her true self.
Playing cards with her, helping her through her journey with a place to stay and eventually helping her find companionship were just a few things that the soldiers did to help Violet.
Her journey was one that many people in the audience could relate to. She is upset by how she looks. Marred by a scar on her face from an accident with a hatchet that her father was using, Violet only wanted to be looked at with adoration and affection.
Her heart-jerking story was shared with the audience through flashbacks to her time with her father as a child and through the songs she sang throughout the show. Wrestling with the demons in her heart, actress Ferro brought to life the pain that her character was feeling every time someone looked at her and gasped in horror.
There is societal need to be desired, to be wanted and thought of as beautiful. Although Violet was a riot in her own right, with witty jokes and comical comebacks, she suffered through body issues just like many women in today’s society. It was her light-hearted jokes that deflected against the pain that she was feeling, that made her character so relatable. Her jokes were her defense in the world that was afraid of her.
Even though her journey led her to be loved by Flick and adored by Monty, she never believed either of them were telling the truth. Believing that the drunken Monty had only taken to her because of his state, she was not sure whether or not he was going to stick around, and with Flick telling her that Monty just thought she was a “piece of ass,” she was even more unsure.
However, to the audience, it was clear to see that Flick had fallen in love with Violet, scar and all, and when she returned unhealed and heartbroken, he was there to pick up the pieces.
Her heartbreak over the scar was lightened by her forgiveness of her father for causing it in the first place, but not enough. Still distraught, it wasn’t until she realized that Flick loved her for her, regardless of her face, that she realized that she could also love herself.
The journey of her accepting who she was and who she became in her path to find healing, is one that many can relate to. The audience oohed and ahhed in multiple scenes, giving applause at every turn for the incredible acting that took place. With lines like “tiny little brains, and little peckers too,” in relation to men and their nether regions, and “you’ve got what you wanted so now you’re going to sleep;” in relation to what happens after a sexual scene took place, the audience was laughing along the whole time.
Heartwarming scenes between Violet and her father, as well as between her and Flick, made the audience smile with joy. The show had a great turn out, with every chair filled and a sold out tag at the counter. Overall, the show was well done, and it’s opening weekend was a brilliant success.
Originally Published on The Cauldron.