Friday, January 2, 2009


Everybody stop what you are doing. Seriously, stop. Drop whatever you're holding. Now go see August: Osage County. Better yet, take me with you. Go, have fun, and watch out for flying plates. I saw it this afternoon. Sitting in the front row, I got papers and plates thrown in my face, breathed in massive amounts of fake cigarette smoke, and the annoying, desperately happy forty-year-old daughter almost fell on me as the rejected, cold, cynical forty-seven-year-old sister tried to choke their mother to death. It was lots of fun. August: Osage County was pure brilliance, and as close to perfect as a play can possibly be.

This is Johanna Day. She is perfectly marvelous as the oldest daughter Barbara Fordham. My only complaint is that she never terrified me. When I read the play, I pictured Barbara as a cold, cynical, bitter woman. I never really got that feel with Day's performance. Otherwise, nothing bad I can say about her.

This is Estelle Parsons. She is also perfectly marvelous as Violet Weston, the matriarch of the Weston family. There is a reason she has won an Oscar and a Tony. That's all I have to say about that.

The whole show was just one big, brilliant, electric shock. I wouldn't advise sitting in the front row, though. The intensity of being so close to so much drama is incredible. I would liken it to getting hit by a train. Of course, I've never actually been stupid enough to stand in front of a train, so that's just a ballpark figure. August has been running for a year, and I hadn't seen it before today. I cannot believe this is what I've been missing.

Unfortunately, I don't think A: OC is very long for the cause. It hasn't been doing very well. I thought Spring Awakening didn't deserve to close. That's still true, but that's nothing compared to how little this show deserves it. I suspect it'll be around until the end of winter (and I am VERY good at predicting closings), so go see it while you can. You won't regret it.

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