Thursday, November 19, 2009

Superior Donuts: A Sheer Delight

Tuesday night, I went to see “Superior Donuts.” Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Tracy Letts, the show is a deliciously worthy follow up to his debut hit “August: Osage County.”

A Broadway Treat: Michael McKean (Arthur) and Jon Michael Hill (Franco) in “Superior Donuts”

The show starts off with a bang, after a break-in at the titular Chicago donut shop run by aging hippie Arthur Przybyszewski (Michael McKean). Divorced and alone, Arthur is resigned to maintaining his quiet existence at the family-run shop – until young dreamer Franco Wicks (Jon Michael Hill) shows up looking for a job and the opportunity to breathe new life into Superior Donuts. When an unexpected tragedy befalls Franco, Arthur is forced to decide whether he’s going to continue playing it safe.

As he did so effectively in “August…,” Letts tells a story that is equal parts poignant and funny, with crisp dialogue and believable, flawed characters. McKean is touching as hopeless Arthur P, but it is Hall who steals the show as smart, tough talking Franco. The supporting cast is equally superb, especially Yasen Peyankov (Max Tarasov) as a fiery Russian neighbor trying to make Arthur an offer he can’t refuse.

“Superior Donuts” is first-class entertainment, with a story that delivers big laughs and lump-in-your-throat emotion. Don’t miss it.

The show continues its run at Broadway’s Music Box Theater. For tickets, click here.

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