Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August Down Under Over Easy

August Down Under Over Easy

This evening, Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning August: Osage County may be opening for its second time in Australia, but this time it's doing so for the first time with most of its original Steppenwolf (and Broadway) cast and crew from Chicago.

The entire production has been imported, kit and kaboodle, by Sydney Theatre Company's Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton for its Main Stage.

While performances began on August 13, tonight marks this cast's fourth opening night, after having first performed this modern masterpiece at Steppenwolf's home in Chicago, on Broadway and at London's National Theatre.

Recreating their stunning Tony Award-winning turns Down Under are Deanna Dunagan as Violet Weston and Rondi Reed as her sister Mattie Fae Aiken, along with their original Steppenwolf castmates Amy Morton (Tony nominated for her brilliant portrayal of Barbara Fordham), Mariann Mayberry (Karen Weston), Sally Murphy (Ivy Weston), Jeff Perry (Bill Fordham), Kimberly Guerrero (Johnna Monevata) and Troy West (Deon Gilbeau).

Other casting includes Molly Ranson (Jean Fordham) who was a Broadway replacement in the role of Jean Fordham, and three members of the London cast: Chelcie Ross (Beverly Weston), Paul Vincent O'Connor (Charlie Aiken) and Gary Cole (Steve Heidebrecht). The only truly new cast member is Gary Wilmes, who portrays Little Charles.

Once again, Tony Award-winning director Anna D. Shapiro helms this inherently American tale, and as she so eloquently told the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, "Our company can do fraught standing on its head."

If you live anywhere near Sydney, make every effort to get tickets to see August: Osage County. Why? Because unlike any other import from the United States, this represents contemporary American drama at its absolute best. You can't afford to miss it.

In fact, I simply couldn't resist coming back to Sydney myself. Indeed, this evening, I'll once again lose myself in Letts' epic work one last time .... at least with original castmembers.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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At 20 August, 2010, Blogger Dale said...

I was just talking tonight at dinner about how foolish I was to miss the original cast when I had the chance in New York but how lucky I was to see Estelle Parsons in the touring company here in Toronto 3 times.


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