August County is about the Weston family and how they are an unhappy family with a knack for making each other miserable. When the head male figure in the household disappears the members of the Weston family go about getting together to find him while attacking one another in the process. This story was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 and since this event it has been very well received by many audiences and critics through countless reviews coming from all over the US. Set in the plains of Oklahoma the play August Osage County by Tracy Letts gets much praise by many people for its grittiness and darkness. Many famous people have gone to see this play on Broadway New York and in other areas as well and have also reviewed it favorably including one Oprah Winfrey who hailed it as “outstanding” on twitter but the dark comic drama August: Osage County is a play that is loved by many more and hailed as one of the best plays that Broadway has ever hosted. Below is a list of reviews from famous publications and people for the play.
The show, originally showing in Chicago, made its Broadway debut in Imperial Theatre on December 4th 2007. Once the production company signed a 3 year contract with the building landlord, and a 9 month long renovation took place. The theatre had not been occupied for 5 years after a late night fire ruined the interior.
Interior Designer, Imelda Miller was hired to create a special new theatre for the show. Her mission was to create a modern space for the cast and audience with her sights set on how the space would be used in the future, if August show decided to end. She created a business partnership and managed to open a Starbucks on the ground floor for everyone (even passers by) to sit and relax before or after a show. Cast members, writers and producers have been seen hanging out in the Starbucks between shows. On top of this, Miller opened a bar on the rooftop of the theatre. She understood her audience and knew many tourists from around the globe would come and watch the show, year round and by offering guests an ‘instagrammable’ place to hang out before and after the show would entice more and more people to visit the theatre and watch the show. The Times named her the most innovative interior designer of 2008 in New York for her business savvy commercial and creative ideas.
She modernised the theatre with a chic backstage area – including dressing rooms, cast kitchen area, large sower and bathroom areas and a ‘chill zone’ where cast members can hang out between shows. A rooftop bar was built for not only the audience but also tourists and locals to come for nice cocktails.
Nu Rest, a Scottish upholstery business, took the contract alongside a local New York decorating company to completely transform the theatre.
Miller purchased second hand theatre seating from another theatre landlord and used Nu Rest to reupholster all 4,476 seats. This job took them nearly the full 9 months, shipping gorgeous red velvet and gold silk from India.
The New York Times Hails:
“Alcoholism, drug addiction, adultery, sexual misbehavior: The list of pathologies afflicting one or another of the Weston family is seemingly endless, and in some ways wearily familiar. But Mr. Letts’s antic recombination of soapy staples is so pop-artfully orchestrated that you never see the next curveball coming, and the play is so quotably funny I’d have a hard time winnowing favorite lines to a dozen. “
The Seattle Times Says: “On Todd Rosenthal’s magnificent, three-story dollhouse of a set (nod to Ibsen), director Anna D. Shapiro and a splendid acting ensemble make shameless voyeurs of us all.”
While the LA times boasts: “August” is a feast for actors and audiences alike. The ensemble doesn’t disappoint”