Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Don't Just Take My Word On It

I wrote the blog about August: Osage County, the Broadway play, last night about 10pm. I woke up this morning and opened my New York Times to see this glowing review by Charles Isherwood.

All happy families are alike, Tolstoy told us, and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. But I’d bet the farm that no family has ever been as unhappy in as many ways — and to such sensationally entertaining effect — as the Westons of “August: Osage County,” the new play by Tracy Letts that blazed open last night at the Imperial Theater.

A fraught, densely plotted saga of an Oklahoma clan in a state of near-apocalyptic meltdown, “August” is probably the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years. Oh, forget probably: It is, flat-out, no asterisks and without qualifications, the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years. Fiercely funny and bitingly sad, this turbo-charged tragicomedy — which spans three acts and more than three blissful hours — doesn’t just jump-start the fall theater season, recently stalled when the stagehands went on strike. “August” throws it instantaneously into high gear.

You can read the rest of the review here. I am glad I got to see the show in Chicago.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One Strike Down One to Go

A few weeks ago I wrote about the writer's guild strike and how it is affecting people on all ends of the entertainment business pay scale. Until now I haven't mentioned the other big strike- the Broadway stagehand strike that recently was resolved.

There is an interesting piece in the current New Yorker about a woman who is a wig maker for both Phantom of the Opera and Saturday Night Live. She was forced out of a job because of both strikes and has resorted to cutting hair out of her Manhattan apartment bathroom. Since the stage hands have returned to work, I assume she has half of her income back, but it goes to show you how tough it can be for people who aren't rich and famous.

My connection to the Broadway strike is through my friend Sally Murphy (above) a member of Steppenwolf Theater and one of the stars of August: Osage County. The play had it's world premiere in Chicago at Steppenwolf this summer and made the move to Broadway only to get there in time for the strike. August is terrific. It's funny (often very) sad (often very), tragic. The three hours fly by and I hope New York audiences get to see it. A modern day Death of a Salesman, perhaps.

Anyway, I am glad the strike is over and the show is back so Sally and the rest of the cast can return to work. August: Osage County is a play that needs to be seen.