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‘August: Osage County’ set to open Feb. 23 at Des Moines Civic Center

DES MOINES — “August: Osage County,” the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play starring Estelle Parsons, tells the bitingly funny and sensationally entertaining tale of the Weston family of Pawhuska, Okla., and is coming to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines Feb. 23 to 28 for eight performances only.

The play stars the Academy Award winning Parsons in the role of the family matriarch, Violet. Parsons played Violet in the Broadway production of “August: Osage County” from June 2008-May 2009, where The New York Times raved, “Estelle Parsons gives a superb performance ... sends chills down your spine. It may prove to be a crowning moment in an illustrious career.”

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 and winning five, including Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Director, along with 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 Dec. 4, 2007, to wide critical acclaim. 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 played 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).

Tickets for “August: Osage County” range in price from $15 to $52.50 and are available at the Civic Center Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000 and online at www.civiccenter.org. Groups of 15 or more should call (515) 246-2321. Performances are slated for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27; 2 p.m. Feb. 27; 1 p.m. Feb. 28; and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28.

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