The Lyric Stage Company is giving Tracy Letts’ crowd-pleaser, SUPERIOR DONUTS, a smart, sweet glaze. I can’t imagine a more talented cast. Spiro Veloudos’ production makes every moment pop. (These DONUTS should sell like hotcakes through Feb. 4th.)
Letts’ script is peppered with snappy one-liners and enough oddball characters to keep a nifty little comedy bubbling along – but Letts doesn’t stop there. He interweaves recollections of the Viet Nam era through monologues and introduces a serious threat in Act II (and a manipulative fistfight which has the audience cheering on violence, much to my pacifist chagrin.) Most importantly, Veloudos and company make all the detours work.
Despite the somber turn, DONUTS stays true to its sentimental core. Will Lebow is sensational as the disillusioned bakery owner brought to his senses by Omar Robinson as the fast talking, charismatic new hire. Robinson is perfection as the hilarious antidote to Lebow’s lethargy. Steven Barkhimer is thoroughly amusing as the Russian video store owner who infuriates De’Lon Grant as the Star Trek loving cop sent to investigate a break-in. His partner (Karen MacDonald) is turned to mush in the presence of the donut purveyor (and visa versa) providing some funny bumps on the road to romance.
Beth Goda makes the quirky AA lady a loveable regular and Christopher James Webb and Zachary Eisenstat provide the sinister touch. In the “making a small part count” category, Steven James DeMarco has one of the loveliest moments in the play when he offers Goda’s character his hand.