Citadel Theatre play review – August: Osage County

When I got the invitation to go to the play August: Osage County at Edmonton’s Citadel theatre, my thoughts were mixed.

I’ve attended plays in the past and really have never been that big of a fan of them. I thought about it and realized I’d never been to a professional play in a place like Edmonton, so I decided to go.

I must say, I do not regret that decision one bit. August: Osage County was hilarious and definitely lived up to its billing of dark humour. I don’t normally closely examine and expound on my entertainment choices, so if you’re expecting a profusion of flowery prose on this play, you’ve come to the wrong place.

What I will say, from an average-guy point of view, is that the play is well worth seeing. It is the story of a family that comes together in Oklahoma after the patriarch of the family disappears and is found dead.

It is full of dark humour, and if you never would have believed you’d find incest, molestation and mental breakdown funny, you obviously haven’t seen this play. The playwriters maneuvered through the potential minefields of simply being creepy and found the humour in the situations.

It wasn’t all funny, and there were many dramatic moments during the play as characters came to grips with the realities of life.

Apparently the play was much longer than they normally are, with two intermissions. The first third of the play was actually a bit slow, but set the stage for the final two acts. Those last two acts flew by as the family disputes really developed.

My favourite scene had to be the family dinner. It reminded me of a few family dinners I’ve attended in the past. I think attending the play would be worth it for that scene alone. There are too many great moments to list (or remember).

I read that the play is going to be turned into a movie. If it’s half as funny as the play, it’s going to be a great movie. I’ll definitely line up for that one.

About the Edmonton Citadel Theatre

It was also the first time going to the Citadel Theatre, and I was impressed by the venue. It’s undergoing desperately needed renovations but I felt like I’d stepped back into the 1980s with the amount of burgundy and brass.

The Shoctor Theatre itself has very comfortable seats with an amazing amount of leg-room. I was right at the back but was able to see the play well and the actors were easily heard.

You must remember, my experience seeing plays has typically involved sitting directly on gym floors, or plastic chairs, so having a seat with arms and leg room was sort of novel.

August: Osage County is worth seeing

For those who may not be so inclined to see a play, you really should consider a professional production. It’s a far different experience and definitely worthwhile. If you’re worried about people showing up in tuxedos, I didn’t see anyone that dressed up. Business casual works, and I even saw people in jeans.

If you haven’t seen a professionally produced play, you should catch August: Osage County as your first one. It’s worth it!