GLAZED WITH AWESOME
In our expanding universe of alternative facts, one thing will forever remain true—that all of us are indebted to someone else for something that has kept us going when we needed it most. Playwright Tracy Lett’s sarcastically sly and stylistically slick Superior Donuts doesn’t try to sugar coat this reality in his naturally sweet storyline loaded with plenty of theatrical flavour.
Business is far from good for the aging Polish-American owner of a six decade old family owned/operated desert cake shop. Product demand is at an all-time low in the questionably safe neighbourhood and with a java giant now open across the street, customer loyalty is looking extremely bleak.
And on this particular morning, faithful retail acquaintance Max (Alex Poch-Goldin) exchanges bitter dialogue with Officers James Bailey (Michael Blake) and Randy Osteen (Darla Biccum) responding to a report of overnight vandalism.
Arthur (Robert Persichini) arrives in a state of confusion and it doesn’t appear there will be ‘meal substitutes’ being served until tidiness is restored.
Enter a highly motivated, 21-year college drop-out, Franco (Nabil Rajo), with an updated resume in response to the Help Wanted sign and prospects are beginning to look up for these accidental strangers.
This impeccably easy to follow staging is a palate pleaser like no other. While director Ted Dykstra takes pride in his mostly humorous close-up view of society’s marginalized—people we pass every day on the street but never interact with—it’s hard not to be absorbed by the sense of ‘personal touch’ and intriguing individual histories.
Just wait until you get your ears on the comical camaraderie between Persichini’s conversation impaired, vote abstaining, fantasy shunning Arthur and his gab gifted, upselling, entrepreneurial protégé, Franco. It’s an aural treat of discovery every step they take around the emotional landmines that surround them.
Yet there’s deep impact by way of illuminating back stories that Arthur shares to break up the scenes that give the show vividly tender context. The production wouldn’t pass the taste test without this stirring dialogue.
You’ll totally go nuts over these donuts. Glazed with awesome, it’s theatre’s confectionary choice that tops the competition this month.
SUPERIOR DONUTS by Tracy Letts Feb 5-26, 2017 COAL MINE THEARE 1454 Danforth Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $25.00 – $35.00 www.coalminetheatre.com CAST Robert Persichini, Darla Biccum, Michael Blake, Paul Dodz, Ryan Hollyman, Diana Leblanc, Alex Poch-Goldin, Jon Lachlan Stewart and Nabil Rajo DIRECTOR Ted Dykstra SET AND COSTUMES Anna Treusch LIGHTING Kaileigh Krysztofiak SOUND DESIGN Verne Good FIGHT DIRECTOR Simon Fon DIALECT COACH Rae Ellen Bodie