By Cody Janczewski
A crowd of 400 stood and presented the cast of University Theatre’s, “August: Osage County”, with an unforgettable standing ovation on opening night, Nov. 10 after an emotionally draining, yet comical performance.
Intended for mature audiences only, this three act, three-hour show is complete with adultery, abuse and enough mayhem to make you clench the arms of your seat throughout the entire production.
August: Osage County is set in Oklahoma and focuses on the most dysfunctional family around as the Westons come back together for the first time in years accompanied by a pill popping mother and an alcoholic missing father.
Whether it be the set, a stunning two-story house, the emotional music which makes your heart beat uncontrollably at times, or the lighting cues, which drastically add emotional perspective to the show, this entire production boils down to the absolute jaw dropping acting which truly pulls an audience member into the lives of these characters.
From holding back tears, to sweaty palms, a fast heartbeat, and to uncontrollable laughter, the script accompanied by the unforgettable acting has allowed this production to be categorized as simply phenomenal.
Erica Gunaca who played Mattie Fae Aiken, complete with the dreaded auntie actions one wants to resist as a child, was absolutely hilarious, especially when accompanied by her husband, Charlie Aiken, played by Robby Johnson.
Thankfully, Tracy Lett’s, the author of “August: Osage County”, added some exceptionally hysterical comic relief. When it came down to the confrontational moments between Violet Weston, played by Anna Mundo and her daughter, Barbara Fordham played by Katy Copeland, the entire theatre tensed up with eyes locked on the stage, hearts pounding, and hands gripping the seats.
Mundo and Forham dominated the stage with such an energy of emotions that its flawlessness became simply indescribable, especially when mixed with the emotions this show pulls out of patrons, one truly becomes at loss for words.
Winner of multiple Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for drama, and escorted by raging reviews across the nation, University Theatre and director Mark Lareman truly accomplished “August: Osage County” to its fullest potential.
Do not miss out on “August: Osage County”, a true highlight of University Theatre’s main stage season on its two-week run with three performances left, November 18-19 at 8 p.m. and November 20 at 2 p.m.