Superior Donuts

The dodo bird of the breakfast table, non-gourmet donuts face a tough fight in the North Chicago of Tracy Letts' smart, sad 2008 comedy, not unlike many of the 'hood's pre-gentrification residents. Despite the arrival of Whole Foods nearby, you can smell the 1970s on every inch of the set's donut shop, which owner Arthur keeps as a museum to his late Polish-American parents after evading the Vietnam War. Into the stasis bops Franco (irrepressible Charles Norris), whose entrepreneurial urgency, it turns out, is motivated. (Norris' word slanging and prancing are sheer delights). With Franco's leavening (and his brilliant novel on tattered legal pads), Arthur (excellently dour Kevin McKeon) starts to rise, but can he overcome his own cowardice to fight for the kid? Russ Banham bakes a beautiful batch of performances into this ensemble confection, toothsome as a well-wrought sitcom on a day you've played hooky. (7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Oct. 21.) MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 27. Continues through Oct. 21, 2012

 
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