Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Estelle Parsons to Headline National Tour of "August: Osage County"

In an interview with Playbill a couple months ago, Parsons expressed a hope that producers would offer her the August: Osage County national tour. Well, here she is world:


August: Osage County, the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play that tells the bitingly funny and sensationally entertaining tale of the Weston family of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, starring Academy Award winner Estelle Parsons in the role of the family matriarch, Violet, will launch its national tour, in Denver, CO on July 24th, 2009. Following two weeks at Denver's Ellie Caukins Opera House (7/24-8/8), the show will play San Francisco's Curran Theatre from August 11 - September 6, 2009.

Subsequent engagements will be announced shortly.Ms. Parsons is currently appearing in the show on Broadway where The New York Times recently raved, "Estelle Parsons gives a superb performance...sends chills down your spine. It may prove to be a crowning moment in an illustrious career." Ms. Parsons joined the company in June, 2008.

Estelle Parsons first foray into the business began when she was hired by "The Today Show," first as a production assistant, then staff writer, which eventually led her to become the first female television network political news reporter.Estelle began acting and appeared in her first stage performance on Broadway in Happy Hunting. Since then, Estelle has gone on to either star in or direct over 25 productions. Most notably, she has been nominated for the Tony Award for her performances in The Seven Descents of Myrtle, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Miss Margarida's Way and Mornings at Seven.

Estelle's first film role was in Ladybug, Ladybug. Her performance in Bonnie and Clyde garnered an Academy Award and she was nominated again the following year for her work in Rachel, Rachel. Other film performances include Don't Drink the Water, I Walk the Line , I Never Sang for My Father, Watermelon Man , For Pete's Sake , Dick Tracy, Boys on the Side and Looking for Richard.

On television, Estelle appeared in "All in the Family" and as the mother of "Roseanne" on the hit sitcom. Recently, she has appeared in the HBO television mini-series "Empire Falls" and has directed various productions of the Oscar Wilde play Salome, all of which starred Al Pacino. She also appears in the documentary Salomaybe? that was directed by Mr. Pacino.

In addition to teaching acting at Columbia and Yale, Estelle Parsons served as the Artistic Director of the Actors' Studio between 1996 and 2001.

Written by 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Letts (Superior Donuts, Man From Nebraska, Killer Joe, Bug), this grand and gripping new play tells the story of the Westons, a large extended clan that comes together at their rural Oklahoma homestead after the alcoholic patriarch disappears. Forced to confront unspoken truths and astonishing secrets, the family must also contend with Violet, a pill-popping, deeply unsettled woman at the center of the storm.

Directed by 2008 Tony Award-winner Anna D. Shapiro, August: Osage County is a rare theatrical event: a large-scale work filled with 13 unforgettable characters, a powerful tragicomedy told with unflinching honesty and the unforgettable breakthrough of a major American playwright. August: Osage County premiered and was produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in 2007.

Nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Play and Best Director, and the recipient of Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Best Play, Best Director and Best Scenic Design, August: Osage County opened at the Imperial Theatre Broadway on December 4, 2007, to wide critical acclaim. The New York Times called August: Osage County "The most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years," and it was voted The #1 Play of the Year by Time, The Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly, and TimeOut New York. After a sold-out engagement at the Imperial Theatre, the show re-opened at the Music Box Theatre on April 29, 2008 and will reach its 500th performance on February 3, 2009.

The show, which the London critics hailed as "the must-see play of the year - possibly a lifetime," opened to rave reviews at The National Theatre on November 26, 2008, where it plays for a limited eight-week engagement featuring members of the original Broadway company.

The show's creative team includes Tony Award winner Todd Rosenthal (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Ann G. Wrightson (lights), Richard Woodbury (sound) and David Singer (original music).

August: Osage County is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jean Doumanian, Steve Traxler and Jerry Frankel.

1 comment:

jan@broadwayandme said...

I'm wowed by Parsons' stamina too. But not really surprised by it after listening to the autobiographical interview she did with the guys at Downstage Center last year. You can find it here: