Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
Dark drama August: Osage County brings the truth
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Dark drama August: Osage County brings the truth

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

August: Osage County
Paramount Theatre
October 27 - November 1


'Truth!' exclaims matriarch Violet Weston. 'Truth!' But truth comes with a price, and that price is often too high to pay for the members of the family in August: Osage County. The Tony Award-winning play (Best Play, 2008) by Tracy Letts is not so much about an ideal American family as it is about the disintegration of the American family. The play is labeled as a dark dramedy, but the emphasis is on the dark. Despite the slower pace for character building, the three and one-half-hour show (with two 10-minute intermissions) will fly by quickly. You won't have time to look at your watch as the one-line barbs and acid comments race by faster than the grand prix, and the creatures here have all pulled out the claws and sharpened their tongues.

With the unexpected death of their father, the three Weston sisters (Barbara, the eldest, Ivy, the middle, and Karen, the youngest) reluctantly come together for the funeral. Each of them is dreading having to deal with their pill-popping mother, Violet, and the family bands together only to be torn apart from within. Secrets are revealed, including alcoholism, pill addiction, incest and molestation, and those are just the appetizers at this destructive dinner.

Estelle Parsons (from TV's Roseanne), recreating her Broadway role, plays the vicious matriarch Violet. Addicted to a long line of prescriptions, she watches everything through glazed-over eyes, though her sharp mind is ready for battle. She sits with patience, like a trapdoor spider, waiting for the right moment to strike out with poisonous precision and then watch as her victim struggles within the acidic confines. Ms. Parsons' character is far from the shrill mother forever caught in TV Land; she plays Violet with the strength of a wildcat. This character demands from the audience a scary type of sympathy and it is the sympathy for a widowed praying mantis.

Shannon Cochran plays the eldest daughter, Barbara, a woman with a husband (played by Jeff Still) and a 14-year-old daughter (played by Emily Kinney) who has her hands full with her father's death, her mother's addiction, and her own marriage, which is falling apart. Barbara is the real center of the play as she flounders between rebelling against her parents' behavior while trying not to become them in turn. Ms. Cochran portrays a good range, whether she is striking out at her mother with verbal or physical attacks or trying to shield her sisters from one of the ugly truths that come to light.

Middle daughter Ivy (played by Angelica Torn) starts off as the mousey, "obligated" daughter that stays behind to help take care of her parents. She tries to hide her love affair from her toxic mother, only to have her dreams destroyed before her eyes. The youngest daughter, Karen (played by Amy Warren), only wants to find true love, a mission she feels she accomplishes with her fiancé Steve (played by Laurence Lau). But even the youngest child doesn't escape without having truths brought before her and must decide whether her desires for happiness can cover the dark secrets that follow.

The play's scenery is beautiful. It's a large house that shows the built layers of the American Dream as it symbolically comes crashing down on its inhabitants. Depending on your theater seat, some scenes may be a little difficult to see, but that's because the staging is large and sprawling, much like the style of house in which it is set. At times the microphones went out, but the actors are accomplished at projecting their voices and I never missed a word. There were a couple of scenes that were awkwardly staged, but during most of the group scenes, people flowed about the house without stealing focus. When conversation, dialogue or even screaming arguments overlapped each other, important lines were still able to be heard and picked up by the audience; that shows the talents of a group of people that work well together.

Despite the heaviness of the subject matter, there are laughable moments that are intended to alleviate some of the tension. The humor comes at twisted moments, sometimes even uncomfortable ones, but there is enough of it to give a certain balance to the teetering family. There are more laughs than one might expect, which prevents the show from becoming lost among the works of Ibsen, O'Neill or other dramatic playwrights. There is an undertone of Tennessee Williams here, but with more laughter, and instead of the sultry South, this dysfunctional family is set on the Oklahoma plains.

August: Osage County opened on Broadway October 30, 2007 and ran for over 648 performances. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards and won five while having two actresses nominated simultaneously in the Best Actress category.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Betty Buckley, the cabaret cowgirl
------------------------------
2009 Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival awards
------------------------------
Michelangelo: Public and Private
------------------------------
Dark drama August: Osage County brings the truth
------------------------------
Hubbard Street Dance earns standing ovation
------------------------------
Measure For Pleasure an over-the-top sex romp
------------------------------
Obama musical entertaining, if uneven
------------------------------
Entrancing Emma at Book-It Repertory
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Theatre Puget Sound honors artistic achievement
------------------------------
Antichrist shocking, but a good film, too
------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep characters anchor Hollywood Je T'aime
------------------------------
John/Joel, KISS, Clarkson all arrive in November
------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
Rufus on straight men, JoBros, and Lady GaGa
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------

------------------------------
Fun with my honey and Halloween suggestions
------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep Inside Hollywood - Romeo San Vicente
------------------------------
An Englishman In New York, one of the year's best
------------------------------
Book Marks
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Tegan and Sara's new album Sainthood rushed and mediocre
------------------------------
Ani DiFranco 'rocked our fucking socks off'
------------------------------
Gossip gives ferocious show
------------------------------
Guest conductor Morlot filled with infectious energy
------------------------------
Brandi Carlile rocks at homecoming show
------------------------------
Superstar Mika keeps Moore crowd on their feet
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

 

http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News