Repertory Philippines’ adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner August: Osage County by Tracy Letts celebrates what can be the most cliché topic for soap operas, a broken family with respectively broken family members, only a lot more sinister and hellish.
We Filipinos have (exhaustively) seen the widest plethora of stories of families and their tragedies through decades and decades of media reinforcement that we will utterly despise another one that may come around. The thing is, August: Osage County is one of them, and perhaps, it might have been the very drama that gave out the idea of how a family can be perfectly destroyed. It might have been the very story that started all the stories of wrecked family that are making us puke right now.
It might have been the only show that is true.
The thing about a wrecked family is that they do not view themselves as one. And in the case of the Westons, it only took them one great tragedy for their repressed problems to resurface. And as a broken home would not be broken without the faulty pieces, the individual demons of each family member were unfolded as the story progressed. It cannot be reconciled if one misery was but the fault of the other, or if it was the very thing which caused yet another misery; the domino-effect of Weston’s troubles continued like a mad influenza. The only one left serene and pure inside the falling house was the Indian caretaker which they took as a nuisance in the beginning. She stayed calmed and composed in her attic (countering Charlotte Bronte’s Mad Woman in the Attic archetype in Jane Eyre!) as the Weston family almost killed one another, emotionally, mentally, and even physically, with good old music and quick witty banters (to make it a lot more depressing) in between.
The story ended on the truest way possible. No reconciliations, no apologies, no positivism. And that is how a wrecked family usually is, either it gets worse, or it stays bad.
Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County will make you cry, laugh, cry, love, and cry a lot more. Because there is no escaping life’s true problems.
Repertory Philippines’ August: Osage County runs until March 15. Contact Ticketworld at 891-9999 or visit http://ticketworld.com.ph/ for ticket prices and reservations. You may also visit http://repertoryphilippines.com/ and follow them at @repphils for more “theatrical” updates!