Sunday, September 16, 2012

August Osage County
Abster Productions: 9/7 – 9/30

     If you wish to have a closer more intimate look at the Weston household and its progeny than you got when the touring company came to town you should get on over to The Dairy in Boulder.
                          The cast of "August Osage County" at The Dairy in Boulder

     Abster Productions’ version of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize winning play does a great job of making these characters our intimate acquaintances.  (One must rush to qualify this by saying that the tour, which was initiated by Denver Center Attractions at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House, was truly magnificent on a grand scale.)
     Peter Hughes’ direction of this production, now on view at The Dairy in Boulder, is superb. In his production the opening scene is paced more in real time than the quickly paced one done by the touring company’s director. As a result we get a better handle on who Beverly Weston (played here by Wade Livingston) really was in relation to the relatives who are soon to come pouring back into his Oklahoma farmhouse.

                                             Anne Oberbroeckling as Violet Weston

    Annie Oberbroeckling’s performance in the role of Violet Weston is a tour de force. The Denver audience has never before seen this actor as such a seething cauldron of rage. Awesome work! 

     Abby Apple Boes really cuts loose in the role of Barbara Fordham letting us see how powerful she can be in a serious dramatic role. Brava!

     Missy Moore turns in yet another stunning performance in the role of Karen Weston. It’s great to see that this actor is as adept at serious drama as she is at comedy.

     Matt Maxwell’s portrayal of Steve Heidebrecht is intentionally slimy. I’m sure that the “edginess” of this character’s creepy pedophilia becomes more off-putting with every performance.

     Shane Delavan is brilliant as Little Charles, the dim bulb of the family.

     Ken Paul turns in some of his best dramatic work to date as Sheriff Deon Gilbeau.

     Kerry Beebe, a native Oklahoman herself created a very credible Mattie Fae Aiken.

     Luke Allen Terry’s sound design is superb.

     Ann Piano’s lighting design is an example of her finest!

     This three-act play is rather long, but the metaphor it presents will give you plenty to grind your teeth about concerning the karma built up by this country as it pursued its Manifest Destiny.

     Amanda Kowalski plays Johnna Monevata, the only Native American character, with observant compassion and patience… and one notable exception.

          Not to be missed!

7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 30; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18,The Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder

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