Running since: October 2007 From Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, the Pulitzer-winning drama about the disintegration of an American family. Winner of 5 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Play. Closes June 28th
The Broadway production of August: Osage County closed June 28, 2009. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
One of the odd things about Broadway is that some of the best things on it aren't made in New York. On occasion, the 'buzz' on a show in another city is so strong that it is offered a commercial run here by the Powers That Be. Such is the case here, as the legendary Steppenwolf Theatre brings a very strong recent production to the Street.
The story has the scope of Eugene O'Neill, but there's a lot of Jerry Springer woven into the evening. The plot follows the story of a Midwestern family who have all made some very bad choices in life - marriages gone awry, dependencies to odd chemicals and practices, etc. The whole schmeer makes for a very compelling, harrowing, and witty evening in the theatre.
It's not for the kiddies, and it's not as literary as one might expect a play this long to be, but most critics seemed to think it was that exceedingly rare combination - entertaining and substantial.
Here's a news feature with a moment or two of the show in it:
2008 Tony Awards: Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Deanna Dunagan), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Rondi Reed), Best Direction of a Play, Best Scenic Design of a Play. 2008 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Director of a Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play (Deanna Dunagan). 2008 Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding New Broadway Play, Outstanding Director of a Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play (Deanna Dunagan). 2008 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award: Best Play. 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
A fraught, densely plotted saga of an Oklahoma clan in a state of near-apocalyptic meltdown, "August" is the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years.
...the playwright balances the harshness of the situation with a compassion for these people. It's an honest compassion that doesn't teeter into sentimentality as the play reaches its lonely conclusion, an ending that seems exactly right.
New York Daily News
...a hugely ambitious, highly combustible saga that will leave you reeling.
New York Magazine
The outburst of noisy suffering somehow makes this battle hilarious: I winced, and then I laughed like hell.
New York Post
"August: Osage County" would be worth seeing for the acting and staging alone. Luckily, Letts' cheerfully scabrous play doesn't make that necessary.
"August: Osage County" is by no means great literature, but it's certainly a crowd-pleasing epic sure to be a great, big hit.
...this is a play that will leave us... laughing and wondering, shuddering and smiling, long after the house lights come back on.
(this) account of a family whose secrets and lies come spilling forth under duress ranks with the best American drama of the past decade.