August: Osage County; Interrupted

by ERIC SPEAR · June 26, 2008

august osage countyLet me begin by saying that, August: Osage County is hands down my favorite play I have ever seen. It resembles a contemporary "A Long Day's Journey Into the Night," but with much more humor and excitement. (Off the record, I found "A Long Day's Journey Into the Night" boring and tedious). Although the play runs three hours (which is why I had my reservations), I was intrigued from beginning to end, and almost wish it lasted longer. The humor was witty with crass and the acting was impeccable from every single actor.

The most notable performances were Dee Pelletier's as Barbara Fordham, Suzanna Marley's as Violet, Marianne Mayberry's as Karen Weston and of course Michael McGuire's opening monologue as Beverly Weston. It tells the story of a dis-functional Midwestern family that gathers upon the disappearance of the patriarch. And as soon as I thought the plot was laid out for me, another twist was thrown my way.

So what was the only thing about the play that disappointed me? The Audience! Cell phones rang in chorus yesterday throughout the whole performance. Some of the same phones rang multiple times. Aside from interfering with the audience's ability to enjoy the play, (I can attest as a former stage actor), the ringing most importantly distracts the actors on stage to do their job properly, often causing them to stumble with lines! Who is to blame? Have we New Yorkers become so lazy and egocentric that we don't bother turning off our phones during theater? Or is it ignorant tourist who don't know any better? Whichever it is, it has to stop. Either the rumors are true that New Yorkers are rude or the tourists don't realize how rude they are.

Final conclusion: Go see this show. Please. But when you do, please proclaim loudly to your theater companion to SILENCE THEIR PHONE! Loudly enough to remind all those in your general vicinity. Thank you.