Fans of the recently-departed darkly comedic drama August: Osage County may now want to return to its old Broadway home, the Music Box Theatre, since August playwright Tracy Letts now has a new play there. Superior Donuts is his latest work, which also debuted at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago before coming to Broadway. Superior Donuts, a poignant comedy, is a return to the intimacy of Letts’ earlier works (Bug, Killer Joe) and is quite unlike the sprawling epic drama of August: Osage County. Superior Donuts stars Michael McKean as the proprietor of a dingy old Chicago donut shop and Jon Michael Hill plays the young employee who wants to turn the business around. The play is scheduled for an open run.
A quartet of shows are having their final performances on Broadway today. Two of them, Accent on Youth (starring David Hyde Pierce) and The Philanthropist (starring Matthew Broderick), produced by Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout Theatre Company, respectively, have finished their limited runs. But Irena’s Vow and August: Osage County were open-ended Broadway runs that are only concluding now because of low ticket sales. August has had an unusually successful run for a Broadway play, having begun its highly acclaimed limited engagement at the Imperial Theatre in late 2007, then transferring to the Music Box Theatre so that it could enjoy a continuing run (winning the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for author Tracy Letts along the way). Unfortunately the show is closing shortly after Phylicia Rashad took over the major role of family matriarch Violet, a part that has already earned her raves from many of the audiences who have had a chance to see August in the last few weeks.
Full of every imaginable issue from drug abuse to incest, this three-hour Tony Award-winning Broadway play is almost like a grand soap opera, but playwright Tracy Letts’ superb writing makes it rise above a dysfunctional family drama to become a great play that is terribly funny and terribly tragic. No wonder he won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts!
On May 26, the Broadway production of the play August: Osage County will get two very interesting additions to the cast. Amy Morton, who originated the role of Weston daughter Barbara (for which she received numerous awards and nominations), will return to the part that she made such an indelible mark on. On that same day, Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, numerous Broadway productions including the recent Cat On A Hot Tin Roof revival) will take on the role of pill-popping Weston family matriarch Violet. Morton and Rashad, both formidable actresses, will give fans of the Broadway play a good excuse to go back and see it again. August: Osage County began at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago before coming to Broadway for what was supposed to be a limited run and soon turned into a long run that is already a year and a half strong. After receiving rave reviews, Tracy Letts’s dysfunctional family drama went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The massive Broadway hit play August: Osage County is likely to become a film in the near future. This is yet another Broadway show in the early stages of Hollywood planning and very few details have been settled. Playwright Tracy Letts will write the screenplay, and two of the Broadway play’s producers will produce the movie version, but no casting has been determined yet.
Didn’t manage to catch Chazz Palminteri in his one-man play A Bronx Tale on Broadway this past season? Well, he’s taking the show on the road starting in September. See BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com for details. And if you’re dying to see the Broadway hit August: Osage County in your own town, you might have a chance when the Pulitzer Prize-winning play goes on tour in the summer of 2009. Details will be forthcoming.
Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County ends its run at the Imperial Theatre this evening. But the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production’s Broadway run does not come to an end yet. August will be re-opening next door at the Music Box Theatre on April 29, where the play will continue its Broadway engagement.
Actor Dennis Letts has passed away at the age of 73. Most recently he appeared as Beverly Weston in both the Chicago and Broadway runs of his son Tracy’s acclaimed play August: Osage County. Mr. Letts was diagnosed with lung cancer late last year, but he did not let that stop him from making an indelible impression on Broadway as the wry, charming patriarch of the dysfunctional Weston clan in August.
The highly acclaimed new play August: Osage County, which the Steppenwolf Theatre Company brought to Broadway after a hit run in Chicago, has found a new Broadway house to move into. On April 20, August will conclude its tenure at the Imperial Theatre (which will soon host Billy Elliot) and move to Broadway’s Music Box Theatre (where the soon-to-close Farnsworth Invention currently lives).
Following a lot of positive buzz and ecstatic reviews, the new play August: Osage County is extending its run on Broadway an additional five weeks. The darkly funny dysfunctional family drama will now play the Imperial Theatre through April 13th. To get discount tickets to this Broadway smash, click here.