November: Toronto, Ontario

November 13, 2009

Went to see August:Osage County at the Canon Theatre last night starring Estelle Parsons and a knockout cast, on tour from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. I found Osage County to be riveting despite the fact that it clocked in at about three and a half hours. I swear, I’ve sat through plays an hour and a half shorter that have felt twice as long. Not once did my mind wander from the story of an extremely dysfunctional family, with Parsons playing the pill popping, slur tongued matriarch, Violet Weston, at the helm. The writing is sharp edged and biting, ranging from laugh out loud funny to squirm in you seat cringe. I loved the three-storey house set, and found the staging, for the most part, solid except where at one scene, during a big family dinner, I found it difficult to see a majority of the characters from my very good seats. This was too bad because the cast was so frickin’ amazing I didn’t want to miss one facial expression or hand gesture. Each member of the ensemble worked it in a very serious way. I am going to, for one second, single out Parsons who at 81 (EIGHT ONE?! Really?!) gave that role everything and more. That being said, I take my hat off to everyone involved in this wonderful production. Bravo! And, thank you. Now that’s what I call a night at the theatre.

The show closes Sunday.

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