“Superior Donuts” by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts is magnificent.

Arthur Przybyszewski (Gary Cole, Office Space) is the owner of a donut shop he inherited from his Polish parents. We quickly learn that Arthur is going through tough times. His donut shop was broken into, his ex-wife recently died, he hasn’t had any communication with his 19-year-old daughter for a few years and he has lost his desire to keep his donut shop open. His Russian neighbor, Max Tarasov (Ron Bottitta), looks out for Arthur with intentions of purchasing the donut shop from him. One day, a young African-American kid, Franco Wicks (Edi Gathegi), stops by the shop looking for work. Franco is an aspiring writer who has fallen into some serious debt with the mob. From that point forward, a hilarious, unlikely, beautiful friendship ensues.

Director Randall Arney cast a perfect ensemble of actors, including Mary Beth Fisher as Officer Randy Osteen and Damon Gupton as Officer James Bailey – a hysterical duo. Kathryn Joosten’s Lady Boyle’s subtle entrances and exits were comedic perfection.

The details of set designers John Arnone’s stage, from the donut platter sitting on the counter to the metal cream dispensers on the tabletops made the experience very real and familiar. I felt more like a customer of that donut shop eavesdropping on the characters than part of an audience in a theater. This performance is a gem. Regretfully, we do not experience theater of this caliber in Los Angeles as often as we should. I cannot recommend it ?enough.



Geffen Playhouse is located at10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, visit geffenplayhouse.com.