Go See! August: Osage County

I die.

Figuratively, of course. But August: Osage County is one dark comedy.

HOT MAMA: Estelle Parsons (from left), Angelica Torn, Amy Warren and Shannon Cochran in "August: Osage County." (Robert J. Saferstein)

HOT MAMA: Estelle Parsons (from left), Angelica Torn, Amy Warren and Shannon Cochran in "August: Osage County." (Robert J. Saferstein)

At many points during the play last night, I found I was either holding my breath, or out of breath. It’s that good, that moving, and that hysterical. Estelle Parsons (I remember her best from Roseanne) was phenom:

Playing a woman who does no right, Estelle Parsons can do no wrong. She provides the white-hot accelerant for the scorching domestic flash fires of “August: Osage County,” the tragicomic family portrait that puts ultimate fighting in a whole new sphere.

Parsons, who turned an unfathomable 82 just 11 days ago, tears through the part of Violet Weston, a pill-popping, misery-spreading Oklahoma harridan, with the energy of an actor far younger. It’s a performance of uncanny feel and control. And somehow, after 3 1/2 hours of Violet’s Vicodin-laced vitriol on the stage of the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater, you’re still hanging on her words, waiting for her to commit the next outrage.

I know that sounds like a downer, but really – while it was certainly something I took home with me and am still mulling around in my head, it was also highly entertaining. (Let’s not recap the rather-difficult journey Casey and I had getting back to our respective homes, mmmk?)

I highly recommend seeing it. I’ll be at the Kennedy Center until December 20, and then they head out to Arizona (do I have any readers in Arizona? I think I have one… Meghan McCain, is that you? JK, folks, I know she lives in Manhattan.)

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

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2 thoughts on “Go See! August: Osage County

  1. Happy news! You’re a “possibly related post” for a post that just went up about opening night of August in Arizona–check it out at http://rakstagemom.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/august-osage-county-at-asu-gammage/. The RAK Stage Mom blog includes a previous post featuring comments from August actress Emily Kinney (role of Jean Fordham). Also, the ASU Gammage website (www.asugammage.com) features reviews of all its Broadway Across America series shows this season–done in video and/or written format my 12 select Arizona theater goers called Gammage Goers. Check it out!

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