The cast of August: Osage County. Photo by David Cooper.

On Tuesday night,  I attended August: Osage County which was about the Westons, a dysfunctional family in the midst of a spectacularly entertaining meltdown. Widely regarded as the first great classic of the 21st century, this is a not-to-be-missed theatrical event. The actors were superb and the dialogue was spot on, Nora McLellan (as Violet Weston) gave a brilliant performance as she held the family together.

The story follows Violet Weston who is the mother that has a pill-popping addiction, the father walked out of the house and is pronounced missing only to learn that he died and the family finds themselves at a funeral dinner.

Nora McLellan in August: Osage County. Photo by David Cooper

Directed by acclaimed actress and director Janet Wright, the Arts Club production features an all-star cast led by Shaw Festival veteran Nora McLellan as the Weston matriarch, with Karin Konoval, Megan Leitch, and Wendy Noel as the daughters caught in the family tumult. Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd says, “The company for our production is filled with incredible talents and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the stage.”

Wendy Noel, Nora McLellan, Karin Konoval in August: Osage County. Photo by David Cooper.

August: Osage County premiered on June 28, 2007 at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company before transferring to Broadway for a run of 648 performances. The winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play also won that year’s Drama Desk, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Outer Critics’ Circle, and Tony awards for best new play. Entertainment Weekly put the show on its “best-of- the-decade” list, saying, “Even with a run time of three and a half hours, Tracy Letts’ 2007 drama of Southern-fried familial dysfunction went by in one lightning-fast jolt of pure theatrical electricity.”

The production started off slow in the first act, picking up as the show progressed, the production was well staged and flowed well through past two intermissions into the third act.

The Arts Club production of August: Osage County runs through February 27 at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre, 2750 Granville Street at 12th Avenue. For tickets, visit the website or call the Box Office at 604.687.1644.