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Beverly Weston has gone missing. The poet and former professor recently hired a young woman to help take care of him and his wife, Violet — he's an alcoholic; she's addicted to pills — and with that task done, he disappears. Beverly's unexpected absence causes the rest of the Weston family to return home, and this is not the happiest of family reunions. Violet is a scathingly bitter woman who verbally assaults all of her children as a matter of course, her rage only partially fueled by her consumption of prescription medicine; there's something dark and twisted in her that transcends addiction. Or maybe she's addicted to confrontation, and the pills are the only way to mute this urge. Tracy Letts' August: Osage County is a sprawling welter of anger and cross-generational sins that rises above its bleakness by dint of its savage humor. The Pulitzer Prize winner isn't a feel-good hit, but it is a blackly comic tale that spares no one. August: Osage County is performed Tuesday through Sunday (March 2 through 14) at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1111 or www.fabulousfox.com). Tickets are $20 to $62.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: March 2. Continues through March 14, 2010

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