★★★★★ - Irresistible
Between heat and humidity, August in the Heartland can be brutal. Add in the secrets of a dysfunctional family during a forced reunion and brutality is exponentially compounded with each new person added to the mix. Such is the backdrop for Tracy Letts’ 2008 Pulitzer winning “August: Osage County.”
The three-and-half hour production now playing at A Public Fit (APF), under the astute and careful direction of Ann-Marie Pereth, fairly flies by. It’s at times intense, alternately funny, and consistently mesmerizing because of the incredible talent on the stage.
This cast, led by Gary Lunn (Beverly Weston) and Valerie Carpenter-Bernstein (Violet Weston) as the heads-of-family, dig their teeth into the depths of family dynamics.
Lunn’s Beverly, a one-time celebrated poet and admitted alcoholic, is steady and reasonable. Yet Lunn allows the underlying melancholy to bubble to the surface. In only one short scene he creates a character that nevertheless remains a haunting, integral figure for the remainder of the play. In his few moments, Lunn turns in such a solid performance that whenever Beverly is mentioned we connect.