Arts & Humanities

Musical Journey of Self Discovery at the Caine Lyric Theatre

Violet, a stage musical, comes to the Caine Lyric Theatre in downtown Logan Feb. 5-9. The production is presented by Utah State University’s Department of Theatre Arts.

“This critically-acclaimed musical provides a wonderful example of the exciting work being created by new writers in musical theater,” said Kenneth Risch, production director and head of the theater department in the Caine College of the Arts at USU. “Composer Jeanine Tesori is known for her Thoroughly Modern Millie score, but Violet and her other award-winning musical, Caroline, or Change, showcase the composer’s ability to explore more serious themes.”

Violet is the story of a young woman in the 1960s on a journey searching for a televangelist preacher she believes can heal her disfiguring facial scar. Along the way she meets two soldiers, Monty and Flick, who help her understand what being beautiful really means.

“The beautiful thing about the show is that there is no scar,” said Katie Francis, a freshman majoring in theater who plays Violet. “It’s a wonderful poetic image because the audience is seeing Violet as she really is, a beautiful girl with nothing wrong with her features, but by the way the other characters interact with her, you realize how ugly she is to them.”

The musical is based on the short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Dorothy Betts. True to the story, the musical features characters crucial to Violet’s transformation. Monty and Flick, the soldiers Violet meets on her journey, are two of these. Flick is an African American, the first one Violet has ever known. As they journey through the Bible Belt, both Flick and Violet experience difficulties due to their appearances.

“Flick sees right through Violet and knows her insecurities,” said Anthony Pratt Jr., a senior studying music at USU who plays Flick. “He teaches her that she doesn’t need a preacher or a miracle to be confident in herself.”

The character of Monty, played by Colton Iverson, is a womanizing white man with internal struggles. Monty is an outcast in his own way but acts almost as an advocate for those who discriminate against Violet and Flick.

“He is an arrogant and blunt man, while I am a lover, not a fighter,” said Iverson, a senior majoring in theater. “It’s been a journey to become Monty and this role has definitely pushed me to be better as an actor.”

This musical focuses on the lesson of acceptance and not judging people based on their appearance, said Francis. We’re so engulfed in society today with beauty, but there is so much more to a person than what you see on their face, she said.

Violet runs Feb. 5-9 at the Caine Lyric Theater, 28 W. Center Street in downtown Logan. Each night’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Feb. 9. Tickets for the production are $18 adults, $15 seniors and youth, $10 USU faculty and staff and free for USU students with ID. For information and tickets visit the CCA Box Office located in room 139-B in the Chase Fine Arts Center, call 435-797-8022 or purchase tickets online. Tickets are also available at the Caine Lyric Box Office on hour prior to curtain on performance dates.

This musical is rated M for Mature and is not recommended for audience members under the age of 13.

“The message of this show is beautiful,” said Iverson. “It’s about pushing all outside negative influences away and accepting yourself for who you are. Find the beauty of your soul instead of focusing on your outward appearance.”

Related links:

Writer: Kara Rindlisbacher, 435-797-9203,

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

graphic illustration for the musical 'Violet' at Utah State University

The musical 'Violet' is presented by Utah State University’s Theatre Arts Department Feb. 5-9 at the Caine Lyric Theatre, 28 W. Center, Logan. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. nightly with an additional 2 p.m. matinee performance Feb. 9.


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