Superior Donuts
January 4, 2011 - February 12, 2011
By Tracy Letts
Directed By Allen Nause

EXTENDED! For four more performances, Wednesday, Feb. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 12. All extension performance are at 7:30pm. 

This production runs approximately 2 hours with one intermission. 

Sprinkled with chuckles and glazed with connections, Superior Donuts tells the story of how friendship is not confectionary but a human treat that when established, satiates and fills the heart.   

In Chicago’s diverse Uptown neighborhood, a downtrodden donut shop owner hires a street-savvy and aspiring young writer with hustle and bright ideas. Chock-full of belly laughs, dynamic interactions and compelling neighborhood characters found in everyday lives, Superior Donuts stirs up the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship. 

Comparing the 2009 Broadway production of Superior Donuts to Letts’ hard-hitting dramas, the New York Times commented, “(it) is a warm bath of a play that will leave audiences with satisfied smiles rather than rattled nerves.” Artists Rep produced Tracy Letts’ earlier plays Bug and Killer Joe, and the World Premiere of his adaption of Chekhov’s Three Sisters.  Letts won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for August: Osage County.

Cast

Arthur Przybyszewski   Bill Geisslinger*
Franco Wicks     Vin Shambry
Lady Boyle Vana O'Brien^
Officer Randy Osteen  Linda Alper*
Officer James Bailey Victor Mack*
Max Tarasov Michael Mendelson*^ 
Kiril Ivakin Matthew D. Pavik
Luther Flynn Pierre Brulatour
Kevin Magee Paul Glazier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

Set Designer  Jeff Seats
Lighting Designer  Jeff Forbes
Sound Designer Rodolfo Ortega
Costume Designer Shaune Wunder
Props Designer kollodi
Stage Manager Stephanie Mulligan* 
Fight Choreographer Jonathan Cole
Dialect Coach  Mary McDonald-Lewis 
 Production Assistant    Echo Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
^ Member of Artists Rep Resident Actor Company

SYNOPSIS
Arthur Przybyszewski owns a decrepit donut shop in the uptown neighborhood of Chicago.  Franco Wicks, a black teenager who is his only employee, wants to change the shop for the better.  This comedy-drama, set in the heart of one of Chicago’s most diverse communities, explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship. Recommended for high school and adult audiences.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Check out the new video trailer for Superior Donuts here! 

Portland Monthly Magazines Culturephile Anne Adams spoke with actor Vin Shambry, who plays Franco Wicks in Superior Donuts. Read the interview here. 

Check out the playbill for bios, headshots and some interesting doughnut facts!

The latest production photos are in. Check them out here!

Click here to see the set design by Scenic Designer Jeff Seats.

Click here to check out a Chicago Tribune interview with Superior Donuts playwright Tracy Letts and the cast of the premiere production.

Click here to see the schedule for Audience Enrichment events.

PRODUCTION HISTORY
Superior Donuts made its Broadway premiere last October direct from a sold-out engagement at Steppenwolf Theatre Company where it had its world premiere in the summer of 2008. Tina Landau will make her Broadway straight play directing debut with this production which she directed at Steppenwolf. The Steppenwolf production of Superior Donuts will be produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jean Doumanian and Jerry Frankel, producers of August: Osage County.

PLAYWRIGHT
A member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s ensemble since 2002, Tracy Letts has appeared as an actor in 18 productions there.  His work as a playwright includes Nebraska Man, which was a 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist; Bug, which was the inaugural production of Artists Rep’s Morrison Stage in 2005 and Killer Joe which was produced by Artists Rep in 2002.  In 2008 his play August: Osage County won the Drama Desk Award, the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2009, Artists Rep commissioned him to adapt Three Sisters as part of the theater’s Chekhov Project.  Superior Donuts  is Letts’ most recent play and opened in Chicago in 2008.

He has appeared at Steppenwolf in Betrayal, The Pillowman, Last of the Boys, The Pain and the Itch, The Dresser, Homebody/Kabul, The Dazzle, Glengarry Glen Ross (also in Dublin and Toronto), Three Days of Rain, Road to Nirvana, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and the Steppenwolf for Young Adults production of The Glass Menagerie.  Other Chicago stage credits include The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (A Red Orchid Theatre), Conquest of the South Pole (Famous Door), Bouncers (the Next Lab) and his directorial debut at the Lookingglass Theatre with Great Men of Science Nos. 21 and 22.  He also appeared in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, directed by ensemble member Amy Morton.  Television credits include: The District, Profiler, Prison Break, The Drew Carey Show, Seinfeld and Home Improvement.  Film appearances include Guinevere, U.S. Marshals and Chicago Cab. 

COMMENTS FROM TRACY LETTS
In an interview with the American Theatre Wing's Downstage Center program, Letts noted that Superior Donuts was his first play set in his adopted hometown of Chicago. While he didn't start out to write a work that would be smaller in scope, he does like to stretch himself. “I have an impulse to mix it up. When I finish one thing, the next thing I work on I want to be different. I want to challenge myself in different ways. I want to explore different things, whether it's writing or acting.”

PRESENTING SEASON SPONSOR:

US Bank

INDIVIDUAL PRODUCERS:
Charlie & Darci Swindells
Wendy & Dick Rahm
Kip Acheson
Elizabeth Carr
Charlette Rubin

SHOW SPONSORS:

The Standard GIF


The Reviews...

"It's a grand engine of optimism, sloughing off the rust of many idle years and sputtering to life again. The past becomes present, and the present becomes a possibility..." said Bob Hicks of Art Scatter. Read the full review here.

"Sure, it has some sitcom-like features...but the production emphasizes both Arthur and Franco's complexity, at the risk perhaps of losing the comic thread, though it only makes them funnier..." said Barry Johnson of Arts Dispatch. Read the full review here.

"...Tracy Letts uses these schematically contrasted characters to look at the way hopes and dreams get battered by fear and hardship, and at the redeeming power of courage," said The Oregonian. Read the full review here.

"It’s a comfortable, entertaining, even heart-warming character comedy...." said Ben Waterhouse of Willamette Week. Read the full review here.

"Superior Donuts is a comedy with lots of brisk, funny dialogue. But Tracy Letts' play also is sprinkled with references ... and actor Bill Geisslinger hopes to bring out its dark and meaningful undertones," said Marty Hughley of The Oregonian. Read the full preview here.

“This show has it all – great script, amazing actors, great directing and great set and lights.  It’s absolutely fantastic!” - Audience Member

“The actors are so engaging, I was totally swept up in their world.” - Audience Member

 

“That is the best play I have seen in a long time.” - Audience Member

 

“This was exceptional; they have a hit on their hands!” - Audience Member
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