Silver Spring Stage presents Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, directed by Stenise Reaves and produced by Lennie Magida, funny and moving story of a decrepit donut shop in Chicago that explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship when the owner hires a young African-American as his only employee. Superior Donuts will perform weekends through March 15, 2014.
Award-winning writer and actor Tracy Letts grew up in Oklahoma, but made Chicago his home when he was 20. Prior to Superior Donuts, he explored the dark and comic side of his native stage, most notably in August: Osage County. In 2008, he set out to write what he called "a love letter" to Chicago. He said, "I wanted to explore my current home. I'm a Chicagoan. I love my city...I was interested in exploring what my city means to me." Though set in the Windy City, Letts still writes vivid characters facing life-changing experiences with humor and humanity. In Superior Donuts, he delves into a man who came of age during the Vietnam era. He called them "romantics, and like most romantics, reality did some damage to them." He juxtaposes generations with Arthur, the aged survivor, and Franco, the young survivor. ""It's about that clash between those two guys," Letts says, "not just because they're of different races, not just because they're of different generations, but because of a different impulse centered very deep in them, about hopefulness versus hopelessness." Letts tempers this struggle with sprinkles of romance and a filling of genuine comedy.
Arthur (Nick Torres), an aging hippie and the proprietor of a rundown doughnut shop in Chicago's Uptown district, is having trouble holding his life together. After the shop is vandalized, a young African-American man named Franco (Donta Hensley) talks his way into a job and into the life of the neighborhood haunt, bringing hope along with a troubled history. Members of the community, including cops (Jill Goodrich, Joe Lewis), a neighboring video store owner (William Cassidy), and even a local homeless woman (Shelley Rochester), move in and out of the shop, supporting its owner and eating his wares. Slowly it becomes clear that things are more complicated than they seem and the entire community must make difficult decisions and pull together to forge a new future. The cast also features Greg Garcia, Neal Cohen and Joel Beaven.
Silver Spring Stage is located in the Woodmoor Shopping Center, lower level (next to the CVS) at Colesville Road and University Boulevard. Tickets can be purchased at www.ssstage.org. Information is also available by calling (301) 593-6036.
Enjoy a quick video on how to make donuts before you head over to see Superior Donuts at the Silver Spring Stage.