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  August: Osage County at Keegan Theatre

August: Osage County

Keegan Theatre
1742 Church Street, NW Washington

Winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. A vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Mix in Violet, the drugged-up, scathingly acidic matriarch, and you’ve got a major new play that unflinchingly—and uproariously—exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family.

Presented by Keegan Theatre

Thru - Sep 8, 2012

Price: $30 - $35

Running Time: 3 hrs, 40 mins with 2 intermissions

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  August: Osage County Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Recommended

"... Packed with dysfunctional-family melodrama and satisfying zingers, “August: Osage County” chronicles the clashes and revelations that roil Violet’s household after her husband, Beverly, an alcoholic poet, mysteriously disappears. When Violet and Beverly’s three daughters return home to help their mother through the crisis, long-buried secrets, finely aged resentments and new scandals flare up. Coping with the fallout, and with her own problems, is Violet’s oldest daughter, Barbara (Susan Marie Rhea), who squares off with her mother in a battle of wills."
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Celia Wren

Washington Examiner - Highly Recommended

"... There never was, nor never will be again, a play quite like Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County." For all the fire-breathing, balled-fist bellowing and insult-imbibing wrath conjured up in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," it all melts down to merely hollow trumpeting compared to Letts' explosive masterpiece."
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Jolene Munch Cardoza

MetroWeekly - Recommended

"... Letts writes in a captivating fashion, but he seemingly tries to throw in every possible problem that could afflict a large family –from favoritism to neglect, from divorce to secret affairs, from incest to slight pedophilia. Chances are, touching on so many hot topics helped push him over with the win for the Pulitzer Prize for this play, but I think he would have won anyway –he certainly would win over even more theatergoers –if he had shucked a few of the subplots and much of the details. Instead, he should have kept the focus on the central dysfunction at play here: As much as a family is a random link of people ''accidentally connected by genetics,'' as Ivy puts it, it's also the fundamental basis of human society."

Doug Rule

City Paper - Highly Recommended

"... It took guts for Keegan Theatre, one of Washington’s high-end non-Equity troupes, to take on Tracy Letts’ 2008 Pulitzer and Tony award-winning play. But August: Osage County is so a well-written drama that even a lower-budget production is worth seeing if you missed the play’s two-year Broadway run and the 2009 tour that came through the Kennedy Center. Keegan’s cast is led by Rena Cherry Brown as Violet Weston, the pill-popping matriarch whose passive-aggressive parenting resulted in a continent-wide family diaspora. The inciting incident that recalls two of the three daughters to Oklahoma is the disappearance of Violet’s husband, a much lauded poet who wasn’t so much long-suffering as he was a longtime fan of Jack Daniels."
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Rebecca J. Ritzel

Washingtonian - Highly Recommended

"... This time of year in Washington, a thick summer swelter hangs in the air. It’s uncomfortable and at times downright suffocating, but it’s nothing compared with the heavy cloud of resentment and deep-seated family tension that permeates the crowded Oklahoma home at the center of playwright Tracy Letts’s powerful August: Osage County, now playing at the Keegan Theatre’s Church Street playhouse. The staging of this nearly four-hour-long drama, which premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2007 and took home both Pulitzer and Tony awards for Best Play in 2008, is a remarkable feat for director Mark A. Rhea and an outstanding cast of actors."
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Gwendolyn Purdom

DC Metro Theater Arts - Highly Recommended

"... Like a modern day variant of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Tracy Letts’ superb sprawling epic of familial heart break and destruction - August: Osage County propels us into a world that is alternately tragic, sardonic, witty, and disturbing. The Keegan Theatre is presenting a beautifully crafted production of Tracy Letts’ lengthy but extremely involving play under the taut direction of Mark A. Rhea. The intimacy of the Church Street Theater is the perfect physical space to add a touch of claustrophobia to a play that is already a veritable hot house of emotions."
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David Friscic

MD Theatre Guide - Highly Recommended

"... Directed by Mark A. Rhea, Keegan’s production of Osage County moves effortlessly back and forth between heartache and belly laugh. At no point does the play’s three and a half hours of deeply felt fatalism overwhelm its comic survivalism. Suicide, incest, adultery, pedophilia, and betrayal—all bubble up at one time or another in this subtly absurdist drama. And just when you think that you’ve had enough of the madness, somehow a fry pan to the nose makes the latest bit of human malady seem like just another cactus on the play’s barren landscape. So sit back and enjoy."
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Robert Michael Oliver

DCTheatreScene - Highly Recommended

Forget all that you may have heard about August: Osage County. It is not a dark comedy where an Estelle Parson-ish virago grandmother skewers her pampered children with her acid tongue. It is fascinating and horrifying in equal measure; Virginia Woolf without the literary bon mots; a portrait of a family falling apart whose surrender to chaos is so rapid that they can only watch as it happens
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Tim Treanor

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