August: Osage County – Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage – February 8, 2011
One hot summer meltdown (literally & figuratively) in the life of the Weston Family is portrayed in this Tony award winning play by Tracy Letts. The story plays out over the course of a swelteringly hot summer in the American South as a large family gathers to deal with love, loss, betrayal and intrigue. Throw in a dash of drugs and drinking to this perfect recipe of dark comedic family angst.
Directed for the Arts Club Theatre Company by award winning director/actress Janet Wright (Corner Gas) this production features a large ensemble of seasoned actors who bring this family to life…larger than life at times. The two female leads bring some truly scenery chewing moments to the stage in the, often loud, battle of wits between matriarch and eldest daughter. A couple of the characters seemed a bit underwhelming in the shadow of the great force of the leads but overall the cast was solid throughout. The amazing set, bringing an entire three story house on to the stage, was almost another character as the family’s sense of ‘home’ was questioned throughout the play. Without the solid set to ground the play in reality it may have slipped closer to being a farce. Instead we get to peak into this family’s dramatic unravelling and feel for the characters instead of just laughing at them…although there are many moments of dark laughter throughout the memorable 3 hour performance.
If you are able to see this play live do it now, then you have something to compare the inevitable film version. You can very much see this play being perfect for a screen adaptation and a movie version is in development. The latest news is Meryl Streep and Julie Roberts are due to begin filming in March 2011. Let’s wait and see!