Review - SupERioR DoNutS


    Playwright Tracy Letts created a neighborly, comedic-drama with his script, Superior Donuts.  It debuted at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater before hitting Broadway in 2009, and is currently running at The Village Theater Guild in Glen Ellyn, directed by Judy DiVita, March 21 - April 13.

    The first scene opens in a vandalized, outdated and aging, Chicago donut shop with two police officers interviewing Max Tarasov, a Russian immigrant (played by Rob Reinalda) who called them to the scene.  Max owns a DVD store a couple doors down and noticed the shop break-in.  He quickly jumps to conclusions as to who the culprit is, spouting racial speculations.  Officer James Bailey, (played by Cornelius Henderson) who happens to be Afro American, begins to tire of Max's statement.  Arthur Przybyszewski, (played by Peter Simon) the donut shop owner and Northside Chicago Pole enters and passively assesses the damage.  Instead of getting angry, he asks if he can get his guests some coffee.


    The beginning scene sets the tone for Arthur's hippie personality and how laid back he has settled into his lifestyle.  He has many regular customers, such as local wino, Lady Boyle (played by Lynn Walsh) that he is more concerned with their well-being instead of charging them a fee. 

    When 21-year old Franco Wicks (played by Cameron Moseberry) comes to inquire about a job, it motivates Arthur to take a better look at his life and his routine - said best in his spotlighted monologues.  Franco's energetic extrovertedness brings forth the possibility of changes in the shop, as well as exposing the romantic interest officer Randy Osteen (played by Debbie Roberts) has in Arthur.

    But Franco has his own secret - a monetary debt that local Irish thugs, Luther Flynn (played by Bill Hyland) and Kevin Magee (played by Charley Kennett) come to collect.  Franco attempts to reason with them - which eventually leads to a well choreographed fight scene later in the second act.  A call is even made to Max's nephew, Kiril Ivakin (played by Serghei Gobjila) to aid in the situation.
    The script offers a look at diversity in our fellow neighbors - and a compassionate closing scene sums up the strides the characters made.  The players at The Village Theater Guild act as if they've been performing it for years.  There is an easy flow of camaraderie between Arthur and Franco, as well as believable pain and anger in Luther.
    The set is very detail-oriented, down to the weathered track marks on the shop floor and the painted street scene that can be glimpsed through the glass door.

    I found the production to be a positive lesson in breaking down how we view support systems in our lives.

Consider checking it out for yourself!
    For tickets call 630.469.8230

Photos and review by Lisa Beth