Superior Donuts

by Ben Ellentuck
Superior Donuts made me smile. It also made me laugh; quite a bit, in fact. It made me happy and sad and completely in awe of playwright Tracy Letts’ ability to manipulate my emotions so deftly. Ironically, it did not make me particularly hungry.

Arthur owns a depressing donut shop, Superior Donuts, where two cops and a delightfully tipsy woman, known as “Lady,” are the regulars (and possibly the only customers). Everyone is a little bit lonely. On the morning after Arthur’s shop has been vandalized, one energetic, charismatic, and most of all, broke 21-year-old, Franco Wicks (read an interview here), arrives looking for a job. Both Arthur and Franco have their share of past troubles: Arthur is a pessimistic draft- dodging former-hippie with a recently-deceased ex-wife and a daughter far away. Franco is looking for some fast cash to pay off a large debt. 
The actors make Letts’ carefully honed script come alive. The dynamic between Franco and Arthur becomes nothing short of brilliant as they form a tight father-son bond over the course of the play. 

Superior Donuts is truly effective and affecting. I laughed many times, almost cried (I probably would’ve if I were a crier) and was truly touched by the ending. Plus, it made me smile. And to get a person to smile is a beautiful thing. 

HOW TO SEE THE SHOW:  $29.50 Student Rush • Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St.

17 comments

  • superior donuts was a great show, it seemed so real. it as like entering a donut store and see everything happening. I really like how franco and author's realationship became stronger each day , the became closer almost like father and son.i feel like author and franco were two peole with different problems but what they had in common was that they needed somebody to lean onand exchange experiences.

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  • Ohhhh the first time i went to see this show with my school i falling in love with it, Im so loving it.Specialy franco i thing he do a really good job.

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  • I think the play was great and i enjoyed it. The part i really liked the most was when arthur fought the guy franco owed money to avenged franco because of what they did to franco.I feel like the play shows that people can really help each other change.

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  • i like this play .in the play a women came to suporior donuts shop after Franko left the store. The woman sell the donuts by herself and after Authur come she give the responsebility to Authur and when Franko come back everyone so glad to see him and everythings get alright and Franko and Authur get together.

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  • I liked the part where an old lady comes in the store and ask for donut, "can I have a donut" it was funny the way she asked. She is the only one who made me laugh so much that I almost cried. I think without her there would be no charm in the play.

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  • I saw a lot of change in Superior Donuts, the good change. Archer is stand up to fright with the teenage guy when he know he had cut off Franco fingers. But he is a pessimistic draft-dodging person before that.

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  • I've got to love Superior Donuts, the way it's set up and the main theme of the play is compelling and heart touching. I came to realize in the play that money isn't everything but altruism is the key to peace and happiness. The rise and fall of the play to the most edge made me realize that life can be sometimes considered asa challenge/ test with great consequences.

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  • I liked the play Superior donuts but i feel like the gangsters were a little cliche.The relationship between Franco and Arthur was great but it grew a little too fast to feel realistic. The story started well but we never saw the attempt to increase the profit that Franco was talking about. The end was a little too "One whole happy family" for my taste, but i really like the acting and the energy that was given, I could tell the actors were having fun with it and had a great time.

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