August: Osage County

Originally produced by Chicago’s Steppenwolf company (which is now touring it around the country), August: Osage County takes the American theatrical tradition of wrenching, boozy, into-the-night, family screamfests and dials it up to 11, even while making the whole business fantastically funny. Broadway great Estelle Parsons didn’t originate the role of caustic, drug-scarfing matriarch Beverly Weston, but she made it her own in New York and is heading the road production. Her ability to be at once monstrously vicious, pitifully vulnerable, and bitchily witty sets the tone for this homebound, multi-generational reunion-gone-bad, which won the Pulitzer for playwright Tracy Letts. Directed by Anna D. Shapiro, who got a Tony for it, this is a brisk, if exhausting three-hours-plus that no Seattle theater-lover should miss. MARK D. FEFER

Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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