Updates: Steppenwolf’s “Superior Donuts” on Broadway

Tracy Letts’ most recent play, Superior Donuts, just opened on Broadway with the same Steppenwolf cast.  After receiving moderate to warm reviews here in Chicago, the NYC reviews so far appear mixed.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

 

The NY Post gives Superior Donuts a very positive review – 3.5 stars:

After Superior Donuts, Tracy Letts‘ follow-up to August: Osage County, premiered in Chicago last year, the play was deemed entertaining but minor.

Either this Steppenwolf production has been drastically reworked on its way to New York, or we live in a cynical world where a show as tender and honest, as beautifully written, acted and directed as this one can be blithely dismissed.

 

 

While the New York Times produces a review that is so-so:

Mr. Letts has mothballed his angst and tossed the deadly weapons in the back drawer. Superior Donuts, a gentle comedy that unfolds like an extended episode of a 1970s sitcom, is a warm bath of a play that will leave Broadway audiences with satisfied smiles rather than rattled nerves.

Superior Donuts may be familiar and unchallenging, but it’s also comfortable — and no, there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Below, Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones interviews playwright Tracy Letts (“August: Osage County“) and lead actor Michael McKean (“Laverne and Shirley“, “Saturday Night Live“, “This is Spinal Tap“) about Superior Donuts, Letts’ new play premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. Letts’ 2007 play August: Osage County won the Pultizer Prize and Tony Award in 2008.

SUPERIOR DONUTS

By Tracy Letts; directed by Tina Landau; sets by James Schuette; costumes by Ana Kuzmanic; lighting by Christopher Akerlind; sound by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen; hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe; dramaturg, Edward Sobel; fight director, Rick Sordelet; associate producers, Jeremy Scott Blaustein, Patrick Daly, Susan Jean Steiger and Donna Roehn Ward. A Steppenwolf Theater Company production, presented by Jeffrey Richards, Jean Doumanian, Jerry Frankel, Awaken Entertainment, Debra Black, Chase Mishkin, Karmichelle Productions/Robert G. Bartner, Dena Hammerstein/Pam Pariseau, Carole and Barry Kay/Irv Welzer, Andrew Asnes, Rebecca Gold, Kathleen K. Johnson, George Kaufman, Charlie McAteer, Terry Schnuck, Michael Gardner/David Jaroslowicz, Stewart F. Lane/Bonnie Comley and Roy Gottlieb/Raise the Roof Two. At the Music Box Theater, 239 West 45th Street; (212) 239-6200. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes.

WITH: Jane Alderman (Lady Boyle), Kate Buddeke (Officer Randy Osteen), Cliff Chamberlain (Kevin Magee), Michael Garvey (Kiril Ivakina), Jon Michael Hill (Franco Wicks), Robert Maffia (Luther Flynn), Michael McKean (Arthur Przybyszewski), James Vincent Meredith (Officer James Hailey) and Yasen Peyankov (Max Tarasov).

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