Wednesday, April 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘Superior Donuts': a highly satisfying snack

Franco Wicks (Jammy K. Bulaya), left, provides a breath of fresh air at the Chicago doughnut shop owned by a beaten-down Arthur Przybyszewski (Matt K. Miller) in "Superior Donuts," playing now at Capital Stage in Sacramento. Courtesy photo

By
From page A9 | October 19, 2011 |

Check it out

What: “Superior Donuts”

When: Through Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays

Where: Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento

Tickets: $18-$28; (916) 995-5464 or www.capstage.org

SACRAMENTO — Director and Capital Stage co-founder Stephanie Gularte received a standing ovation before her production of “Superior Donuts,” by Tracy Letts, had even begun. Not only was it opening night for the play, it was the inaugural production for Capital Stage’s brand-new theater in midtown Sacramento.

Leaving the Delta King, their home since 2005, the company has built a charming performing space that is both larger and more intimate than the Delta King, with a bigger stage that will accommodate larger casts (nine in “Superior Donuts”), and with on-street parking easier to find than in Old Sacramento.

The standing ovation was well-deserved, but just the prelude of the special evening to follow.

The Letts play is a perfect first production for Capital Stage. It’s a little bit of everything — a comedy that’s not a comedy, a tragedy that’s not a tragedy, a character study of several disparate people all coming together in a family-owned doughnut shop in Uptown Chicago, which was already on the way down in 1950, when Arthur Przybyszewski’s immigrant parents bought it.

Matt Miller creates yet another memorable character as Arthur, an aging hippie who looks as beaten down as his doughnut shop. Over the course of the evening, we discover that Arthur was an embarrassment to his father, a member of the Polish Army, who spent most of the war in a POW camp. Arthur fled to Canada during the Vietnam war and is still haunted by his father calling him a coward.

As the show opens, Arthur’s shop has been vandalized, an act that seems to bother everyone else in the neighborhood more than it does Arthur, who takes it all in stride. He has withdrawn from life and is existing rather than living.

Young Franco Wicks (Jammy K. Bulaya), bursts through the door, applying for the job Arthur has advertised in the window. Arthur is uninterested in hiring anybody, but Franco is so excited about the possibilities, and wins Arthur over. He is hired and sets about to bring life back into the doughnut shop … and to Arthur.

Bulaya gives an amazing performance. He is ebullient and engaging, excited about life, determined not to let anything get him down. He has plans for his future and he has written the Great American Novel. His face would light up a room and you can’t help but smile when you look at him.

In contrast, his final scene is one of the most emotional and so beautifully played. It was an unforgettable experience.

The rapport between Arthur and Franco carries this story, as the old man is slowly shaken from his numbness by the younger man’s unflagging enthusiasm. The friendship they form is essential as the story progresses and their roles are reversed.

Arthur’s neighbor, Max (Gary Pannullo) is a Russian immigrant who owns the video store next door and who desperately wants to buy Arthur’s doughnut shop so he can expand and find his own American dream. Pannullo is just great, a stereotypical Russian — bombastic, argumentative, but a longtime loyal friend of Arthur’s.

The stellar cast also includes Janis Stevens, almost unrecognizable in her multi-layered costume as “Lady,” an alcoholic street woman who begins each day with a doughnut and a cup of coffee. Stevens gives this old woman an air of regal dignity, and her sharp wit delivers some of the funniest lines. She can’t seem to maintain her sobriety, but she keeps starting anew every day.

Lori Russo is Officer Randy Osteen, who obviously is attracted to Arthur, who doesn’t even know she exists until Franco points out that she has been trying to get the old man’s attention.

Anthony D’Juan plays the beat cop, Officer Bailey, a “Star Trek” fan who cares about the people in his neighborhood.

Barry Hubbard and Shane Edward Turner are Luther Flynn and Kevin Magee, who comes to collect on Franco’s gambling debt.

Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly is Max’s nephew, Kiril Ivakin, who has little to say, but makes his presence known very effectively.

The heart of this play is the unlikely friendship that develops between Arthur and Franco, a friendship that will bring both of them back to life after major setbacks.

The new Capital Stage theater is off to a very good start.

Comments

comments

.

News

Food Bank springs for year-round assistance

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Next-generation GMOs: Pink pineapples and purple tomatoes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Dismal snowpack gets one more measure

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Funding sought for slain vet student’s pets

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Woodland Library’s community room reopens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Museum celebrates Easter with candy-filled eggs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Easter egg hunt set Sunday at Atria

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

AquaMonsters open summer registration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Poet laureate emerita celebrates at book-release party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

UCD gets grant to look at open access to published research

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Odd Fellows will host a big birthday bash

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Tamblyn presents a comedy concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Cancer fighters will gather Saturday for Relay For Life kickoff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

AARP’s free tax-prep services continue

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

‘Sip and Shop’ kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Seniors invited to join new social group

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Pain management lecture slated April 8

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Pence Gallery: See artists at work during Garden Tour

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Forum

Bicycle bells are my birthday wish

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

Shootings showed need for MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Program sparks lots of questions

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Is Davis on the cusp of an evolutionary change?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: B4

 
Will containers block cyclists’ path?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

We have no room for another cart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
This is no way to run a city

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Get informed on organics program

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Groom’s parents overwhelmed

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

.

Sports

UC Davis represents well at Final Four in Indiana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Descalso looks back at Aggie days, ahead to new Rockies gig

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils drop softball game at CBS

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggies get ready for Hawaii by rolling over St. Mary’s

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS younger girls soccer squad stomps Grant

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Nunez powers Aggies to softball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Gibson’s heroics ensure a DHS split at Boras Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10

.

Features

Spring is a busy time for honey and hives

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

 
Fiery bluesman brings guitar pyrotechnics to The Palms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Bluesman and guitarist Buddy Guy comes to Davis

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics