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Composer and cast discuss Violet on Broadway with the Muses

Not only did the Muse Scholars get to see the acclaimed musical Violet on Broadway this month, but they met the show's award-winning composer, cast, and musicians. The Muse Scholars received tickets to the musical through Hunter College's relationship with Roundabout Theatre Company.

Before the performance at American Airlines Theatre, composer Jeanine Tesori (photo: lower right) visited the Muse Freshman Seminar to discuss the making of Violet, which is based on the short story "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts.

Tesori shared anecdotes from her career in the New York theatre world, during which she has received four Tony Award nominations for scoring Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center; Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan); Caroline, or Change (lyrics, Tony Kushner); and Shrek the Musical (lyrics, David Lindsay-Abaire).

After the performance, the scholars were invited to a talk-back discussion with Tesori and the play's musicians and cast, including two-time Tony winner and Violet star Sutton Foster (photo: lower left).

"Disfigured by an accident when she was 13, Violet yearns for the kind of miracle that would erase the scarred face she unwillingly presents to the world and that would make her look like everybody else," theatre critic Charles Isherwood wrote of the show in The New York Times.

"But on her long bus journey from North Carolina to visit a televangelist in Oklahoma, Violet strikes up a friendship with an African-American soldier, Flick, whose own persecution in the racist South (the year is 1964) opens her eyes to the possibility that what other people see when they look at you means little compared with what you find when you look inside yourself."