Saturday, September 22, 2012
There are just three more chances to see this great production of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer-winning play, tonight and tomorrow at Point Park University's Playhouse, in Oakland.
I've enjoyed local stagings of a few of Letts' earlier plays, including Bug and Killer Joe, but this one really floored me.
It's just huge, an epic in a small-town Oklahoma house that begins (after a brief prologue) with the disappearance of the family patriarch, a poet and college professor named Beverly Weston. From there it sprawls out into an uproarious 13-character drama about Weston's extended family.
But while it's quite dark — delving into alcoholism, prescription-drug addiction, infidelity and plenty of other taboos — August: Osage County is also one of the funniest plays I've ever seen.
And this mostly local cast, directed by John Shepard, does it proud, led by Mary Rawson as drug-addled matriarch Violet Weston.
CP critic Robert Isenberg gave the show a glowing review. And a theater veteran who saw last night's show with me said the REP's production bested the touring production (starring Estelle Parsons) that introduced the play to Pittsburgh in 2010.
The show's up for matinees today and tomorrow, with an evening show tonight.