April 23, 2014 – John Monaghan
If you caught the recent movie version of “August: Osage County,” you’ve seen only part of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning work. At full length, the 2007 dark comedy runs more than three hours, has two intermissions and solidly proves that there are still plays out there capable of delivering meaty roles, clever dialogue and plenty of subtext to ponder even after multiple viewings.
The excellent production at Wayne State University’s Hilberry Theatre boasts solid performances from the graduate student troupe, though it’s Lavinia Hart, longtime head of the school’s MFA acting program, who is the show’s anchor. She portrays Violet Weston, the matriarch of an especially dysfunctional Oklahoma family — and arguably the greatest stage character for actresses of a certain age to play in at least a couple of decades.