If you haven't seen August: Osage County, please do so before Estelle Parsons leaves to take the show on the road. Or if you're located on the road, try to catch it. It's one of the best straight plays I've ever seen (and at three-plus hours, it's also one of the most straight plays I've ever seen) and Parsons is unbelievably believable. She's a replacement, yet I can't imagine anyone in the role but her—and at 81, she seems to be playing 65 and certainly accomplishes the feat. She's physically capable of running up and down three flights of stairs throughout, though that isn't nearly as exhausting as the absolute harridan she plays.
Just a great play.
It was a rainy Sunday matinee, so we were surrounded by old people loudly repeating lines to each other and volunteering info ("Jean Seberg? She was a suicide.") and by empty seats. It was only $31 and a great value.
Just be sure you see it before Phylicia Rashad replaces Parsons...non-traditional casting only works for me if a character's race truly has nothing or very little to do with his or her raison d'etre. In this play, a black Vi is not going to make sense. But also...Rashad doesn't have the chops, that I've seen, for this part. Why not just hire Brooke Shields?
Interestingly, another ageless icon was mentioned during the play—Lena Horne. I was like, "What the hell happened to her?" I could not recall her dying. I looked her up and discovered she is alive at 91, but her last public appearance was in 1999. I always think of her as an example of an ageless icon thanks to her late-life concert specials when she was in her 70s. She was considered to be ageless also thanks to her youthful looks (it was good plastic surgery, folks! black does, indeed, crack!). And yet think about this: As amazing as Lena was in her prime and well after it, she retired COMPLETELY from public life by the time she was the same age Parsons is now.
Lookin' great in all three, but don't try to tell me a surgeon didn't help.
I guess the 80s are the new 70s.
After the jump, were these Lena's final TV appearances?