A "sweet ... gentle comedy that unfolds like ... a 1970s sitcom"? From Tracy Letts, the playwright who wrote August: Osage County and Killer Joe? True, according to Chicago, Washington and New York reviews (including New York Times critic Charles Isherwood, quoted here). So fair warning: Those expecting black-ops bug-infested drifters or a brutal family self-evisceration (of either the Poor South or Midwestern variety) should seriously lighten up before actors David Sennett and J. Alphonse Nicholson take the helm of Superior Donuts.
In Letts' 2008 comedy, the Uptown neighborhood, the titled business and Arthur, its proprietor, a refugee from the '60s who now is in his 60s, have all seen better days. But when Franco, an idealistic, enterprising young African-American repairman, befriends the jaded shop owner after a break-in, lives ultimately change as a result. Will Superior Donuts get a health food line? Is that the next great American novel in Franco's notebooks? We find out when Letts' light comedy opens for a four-week run at Deep Dish at 8 tonight. —Byron Woods