Park Square’s presentation will mark the first local production of the play, which originated at Steppenwolf in Chicago and had an acclaimed 18-month run on Broadway.
A frank family melodrama laced with bitter comedy, “Osage County” follows the agonizing saga of an Oklahoma family facing total breakdown and forced to deal with the past and present.
When the Westons’ alcoholic patriarch disappears, the extended family returns to their Oklahoma homestead to confront unspoken truths and secrets.
Violet, the acid-tongued, pill-popping matriarch of the clan is the center of a family storm that includes adultery, suicide, animosity, guilt and denial.
“I was drawn by the razor-sharp writing,” says director Leah Cooper. “It’s simultaneously the most tragic of family dysfunction — Americana gone wrong — and also wickedly, uproariously funny.
“It definitely resonates for me as a Gen X-er in the middle of this generational drama,” Cooper continues. “But with three distinctly American generations represented so recognizably, I think it will resonate with everyone.”
According to Park Square Artistic Director Richard Cook, actors love Letts’ play as much as audiences do, so Park Square “got to cast from the best.”
The top-notch cast features real-life husband-and-wife teams Stephen D’Ambrose and Barbara Kingsley as Beverly and Violet, and Karen Landry and Chris Mulkey as Mattie Fae and Charlie.
D’Ambrose and Kingsley understudied the leads for the Broadway tour and Cook says the pair is “magnificent at building characters who defy our ability to pick a side — they…embody characters we will love and hate with equal and alternating passion.”
He adds that on Park Square’s intimate stage, “the audience will enjoy these dangerous and lovable characters much more intimately than was possible at the Ordway. The lunacy will be right in their laps.”
“August: Osage County” opens Friday, Sept. 16, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 2, at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul. For a detailed performance schedule and ticket information, visit the Park Square Theatre box office.
MinnPost’s Book Club Club is giving away 10 tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance of “August: Osage County” on Friday, Sept. 30, 2011.
If you are a registered BCC club, enter to win tickets by email bookclubclub [at] minnpost [dot] com by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. Please include your full name and the name of your registered book club.
The winning club will be notified the evening of Sept. 16; tickets will be reserved at will call.
To register your book club, click here or use the link on the righthand column of this page.