The first thing I have to tell you about Superior Donuts is that the cast is an absolute dream; hard-working, talented, fun, nice, with no egos. In fact, this entire process has been a dream. From the director, to the design team, to the Arden staff, it's just been so much fun to work on.
Even during tech, which can get tense and tedious at times, we all (cast, crew, design team) sat around and sang each other's praises. I can't speak enough about the talent of the design team: not only are their credentials amazing, their work as evidenced by this show is off the charts. It's one of those show where you look forward to come to work.
I'm not saying none of my other shows were like that but this one is especially like that; it's Superior.
The play itself has been well-received and it should, it's really well written. In case you don't know the story here's a brief snippet:
Arthur owns a donut shop in the run-down neighborhood of Uptown in Chicago. An aging hippy, he does not engage in anything and avoids people for the most part. His assistant quits and Arthur hires Franco, a young black kid in the neighborhood full of dreams and possibilities. Well, you can imagine what happens: Arthur begins to care about Franco but Franco gets in trouble because he is in debt. Arthur finally has to engage in his community. Sounds like a bit of a downer but it's really very funny and lovely.
Working with Ed Sobel, who was the dramaturg on the original and Broadway production, we learned a few fun facts about the script. I think my favorite is that Arthur is named after Boo Radley in Too Kill a Mockingbird. Max, a character in Superior Donuts, says of Arthur "He does not want to be pulled into the light, so I do not pull." I love those little insights, it just makes the process so much fun.
I'll end this post of praise with a video from my production. I may only be doing one show this year at the Arden but I really feel like I hit the jackpot!