Body: <p>Lawson Taite, Dallas Morning News, reveiws our new show, <strong>The Violet Hour</strong>.&nbsp; You can find out more about the play, see performance dates, and purchase tickets on our site <a title="Upstart Productions: The Violet Hour" href="">Upstart Productions: The Violet Hour</a></p> <div id="ssImageSingle"><img src="" alt="" /></div> <div id="ssImageFooterSingle"> <div class="ssImageCreditSingle">Rex C. Curry/Special Contributor</div> <div class="ssImageCaptionSingle">Marcus Stimac, front left, (playing John Pace Seavering) Candy Williams, front right, (Jessie Brewster) and Linus Craig, rear, (Gidger) perform a scene from "The Violet Hour" presented by the Upstart Theater on March 30, 2011.</div> </div> <p><a title="Lawson Taite Reviews The Violet Hour" href=""><strong>Upstart&rsquo;s &lsquo;The Violet Hour&rsquo; mixes literary virtuosity and big laughs</strong> </a></p> <div style="width: 60px; padding-right: 20px; float: left;"><img src="" alt="" width="60" height="75" /></div> <div style="width: 225px; float: left;"> <p class="authorName">By Lawson Taitte</p> <p class="authorCredit">Theater</p> <p class="authorEmail"><a href=""></a></p> <p class="authorDateline"><span class="label">Published</span> 01 April 2011 11:43 AM</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dallas has now had two productions of Richard Greenberg&rsquo;s extraordinary comedy <em>The Violet Hour</em>, at Dallas Theater Center six years ago and currently at Upstart Productions &mdash; both far more satisfying than the 2003 Broadway version.</p> <p>Susan Sargeant directed the one at Upstart, which opened Wednesday. Her interpretation emphasizes the play&rsquo;s literary virtuosity &mdash; entirely appropriate for a play about a fledgling publisher, John Pace Seavering (Marcus Stimac), who can&rsquo;t decide which book to launch first with his seed capital. Should it be the novel by his friend Denis (Austin Tindle), whose prolixity is modeled on Thomas Wolfe&rsquo;s and whose love life is reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald&rsquo;s? Or the memoirs of his secret paramour, Jessie (Candy Williams), whose charms combine those of <a class="DL-topic-highlighted DL-analyze" href="">Josephine Baker</a>and Billie Holliday?</p> <p>Stimac sets the pace and tone of the show with his manly, measured delivery of Seavering&rsquo;s formal rhetoric. You believe him as the spoiled rich kid whose outlook on life changed irreversibly in the Great War. The impulsive Denis is a good fit for Tindle, and Williams projects Jessie&rsquo;s sexual mystique and tragic undercurrents. Unfortunately, Tindle and Williams suffer most from the often ill-fitting costumes. They also don&rsquo;t quite make us believe in their doomed genius.</p> <p>Barrett Nash plays Rosamund Plinth, the beautiful but troubled heiress Denis wants to marry. We know that the character, like <a class="DL-topic-highlighted DL-analyze" href="">Zelda Fitzgerald</a>, is not going to end well. Nash shows us Rosamund&rsquo;s instability in subtle ways that get downright creepy. She&rsquo;s the most darling, and most fatal, of femmes fatales.</p> <p>The reason we can be sure of the characters&rsquo; future is that Greenberg&rsquo;s zany plot enables us to see into it. The burden of all this foresight falls on Seavering&rsquo;s complaining assistant, Gidger. Linus Craig plays him to perfection, not overdoing his prissy side but nailing every big laugh.</p> <p>Cindy Ernst&rsquo;s set puts us into the inner office with all these folks and cleverly turns the theater&rsquo;s entrance area into the publisher&rsquo;s waiting room. The intimacy of the surroundings makes it all the easier to imbibe the playwright&rsquo;s baroquely inventive language.</p> <p>Plan your life</p> <p>Through April 23 at the Green Zone, 161 Riveredge Drive. Runs 135 mins. $15. 214-769-1926. <a title="Upstart Theater" href=""></a></p>

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