Friday, July 06, 2007

august: osage county @ steppenwolf

Checked out this play (still in previews) last night at the 'wolf: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Wow.

It's intimate and epic, humane and biting, hilarious and, in the end, haunting.

Playwrights don't write these grand family plays anymore; the current and future climate is "economize! economize! economize!" -- in casting, in production cost, even in dramaturgy. There's rarely external encouragement to write something big, only stubborn desire, and even when you do make it big there's a director or artistic director or critic with a sharp elbow saying, "it's great, but it's long. Who do you think you are? O'Neill?"

I wish we were more willing to remove that big ol' but and replace it with and if we've already used the word "great" in the sentence. That should be a rule of grammar.

"It's great, and it's long."

I love watching a big, long, well-written play that's going to stick to my ribs. It's so refreshing to see a new play of this breadth. Every minute of August: Osage County was engaging and full of life, in writing, in performance, in production.

I liked it. A lot. A lot a lot.