Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oklahoman Letts Storms the Chicago Stage

Tracy Letts, a former Oklahoman, is making dramatic waves with his new play, August: Osage County, now on stage in Chicago. New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood called the play "a ripsnorter full of blistering, funny dialogue."

Letts, son of novelist Billie Letts who lives in Tulsa, has been working with the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago for several years. His previous plays include Killer Joe, Bug, and Man From Nebraska, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Set in rural Oklahoma, August: Osage County also features acting by the playwright's father, Dennis Letts.

We've never seen a Tracy Letts play, but from what we read, he's nothing if not an energetic and imaginative writer. His new play, which Isherwood praises, contains all manner of misconduct and human misery, including drug abuse, alcoholism, adultery, emotional and physical abuse, pedophilia, and even incest.

This list is enough to get everyone's attention. As Isherwood notes, Letts has written a "potboiler."

We can't wait till it plays at Tulsa's Performing Arts Center, but that may take a while. We're not sure Oklahomans are ready for all that entertaining misbehavior.

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