Family Dysfunction

It’s safe to say that Americans have made as much as we can of the construct of the “dysfunctional family,” and can now officially stop talking and writing about fucked-up families and move on to some other annoying form of navel-gazing.

Perhaps as our sendoff, we can all go see Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County. This much-lauded black comedy, originally a production of the Steppenwolf Theatre and directed by Anna D. Shapiro, celebrates messed-up, middle-class families everywhere in a story about, well, a messed-up, middle-class family whose patriarch has gone missing. The Westons come together at their rural Oklahoma homestead to comfort their mother, and (surprise!) wind up spilling secrets and ragging on one another for hours. Fun!

The New York Times called August: Osage County “the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years” right before it went on to win a bagful of Tony Awards.

Jan. 5-9, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 9, 2 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 10, 2 & 7 p.m., 2010
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela