Saturday, August 21, 2010

August: Osage County (The SOB Revisit)

August: Osage County (The SOB Revisit) – Main Stage, Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

**** (out of ****)

Jet lag be damned.

Despite being on Aussie soil for only a week, the excellent troupe from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre is firing on each and every one their finely calibrated cylinders. That includes extraordinary new ones they’ve picked up along their lengthy journey from their Windy City home base to Sydney via Broadway and London.

While I’ve long since run out of superlatives to adequately describe Tracy LettsAugust: Osage County, a magnificent modern American masterpiece if there ever was one, I’ve never seen it in better shape than I did Tuesday evening here in Sydney. With no trace of irony or hint of hyberbole whatsoever, Tuesday's opening night constituted the single best night I've ever spent in a theatre.

After having begun going their own ways immediately after the explosively comedic drama earned the Tony Award for Best Play in 2008, the cast reunited less than one month ago and only resumed live performances last week. But you’d never know it.

Just like close friends who are able to pick up where they last left off, these exceptional actors -- including the mindblowing Deanna Dunagan as the drug-addled matriarch Violet Weston, the raucously funny Rondi Reed as her sister Mattie Fae Aiken, the formidible Amy Morton as Violet's take-charge daughter Barbara Fordham), along with Mariann Mayberry (Karen Weston), Sally Murphy (Ivy Weston), Jeff Perry (Bill Fordham), Kimberly Guerrero (Johnna Monevata) and Troy West (Deon Gilbeau) -- succeed in building on the dysfunctional family they created over three years ago. In finding further depths in their relationships with one another, each is giving the performance of their lives.

The result is a breathtaking blast into the stratosphere. Buckle up, because it just may be best -- and bumpiest -- theatrical ride of your life. And a spine-tingling one at that.

For me, this unforgettable experience was well worth the trip to Sydney. August: Osage County is an unmissable milestone in American theatre.

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 21 August, 2010, Blogger Dale said...

Wow! I'm so glad they wowed you all over again Steve.

At 24 August, 2010, Blogger Bob said...

Is Violet STILL popping those damn pills?

That's so cool that you got to visit your dysfunctional second family while they took residence in Sydney for a spell, and that they didn't disappoint!


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