WHAT’S HOT ON BROADWAY
When August: Osage County burst onto the
Broadway scene in 2007, Charles Isherwood of
e New York Times called it no less than “
flat-out, no asterisks and without qualifications,
the most exciting new American play Broadway
has seen in years.”
Now that it’s been hanging around for a
year or so, well, nothing’s changed. Except,
perhaps, for a couple of actors.
e play—a family drama that’s both a
comedy and a tragedy and won playwright
Tracy Letts the Pulitzer Prize last year—is still
three and a half hours of pure bliss. (Yes, you
read that right. It’s long. But it goes by fast.
As you sit in the dark theater, you’ll shrink
down in your seat as the insults fly. You’ll cluck
in agreement with the play’s many witty one-liners. (“ ank God we can’t tell the future.
We’d never get out of bed.”) And your heart
will ache as you feel the pain of each of the
characters, from the vitriolic matriarch to the
flippant youngest sister.
e role of Violet Weston, the insane and
overbearing matriarch, was originally played by
Deanna Dunagan, who worked mainly in Chicago
before August and walked away with a Tony
nomination for the role. It is now played with
shrill intensity and a sly grin by Estelle Parsons,
who made her Broadway debut with Ethel
Merman and now has four Tony nominations
and a membership in the eatre Hall of Fame.
is pivotal Mommie Dearest role is the
cause of much consternation in August, which
follows a family through a very hot month or
so in Pawhuska, Okla. e father—whom the
audience meets only long enough to know that
A Night in