August: Osage County
San Jose Stage Company
Why do we return time and again to the muck and mirk, the venom and vile of such time-honored works as Macbeth or Who Killed Virginia Woolf? In many ways, these are not pleasant outings at the theatre; but a great production of either can be exhilarating and entertaining just the same, given great scripts and given that we as audience still obtain glimpses of ourselves and our worlds, even among the deceit, the slander, and the characters whom we often revile (or at best, pity).
Having seen several outstanding productions of August: Osage County in the past dozen or so years, I almost decided to delete a recent press invitation to see and review the latest Bay Area production. However, knowing this particular company’s history of stellar casts; daring, often edgy directorial decisions; and overall theatrical excellence, thankfully I accepted the invitation to attend San Jose Stage Company’s current take of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County.
I am thrilled to report that no matter how many times you have seen the multi-Tony-winning play, you must grab a ticket and return to the plains of Oklahoma in the hot, sweaty summertime to witness a cast and company that has more than enough mettle to portray the full, rambunctious, no-holes-barred life of the Westons – be it pulling someone’s hair, throwing dishes, or chasing mom around the house screaming at full voice, “I’m in charge now!” And once again you, like I, will likely exit the theatre knowing there is no scale high enough to measure the diseased dysfunction of this blistering brood nor hardly enough superlatives to describe the brilliance of this darkest, funniest, most jarring-to-the-bone of comedies about family.
For the entirety of my review, please continue to Talkin’ Broadway.
Rating: 5 E, MUST-SEE
August: Osage County continues through April 24, 2022, in production by San Jose Stage Company at The Stage, 490 South First Street, San Jose, CA. Tickets are available online at www.thestage.org or by email inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Photo Credit: Dave Lepori/San Jose Stage Company