Monday, September 28, 2009

Superior Donuts

Tracy Letts is a talented ought-to-be Sitcom/Lifetime Television movie writer whose work appears in the theater instead of television. Stock characters, slim plot line marred by a series of distracting interruptions for a continuing monolog, and a plethora of one-liners, some of which draw laughs because of they way in which they are delivered, but are not particularly memorable. Paraphrased example: "You should cut off your pony tail. Pony tails only look good on girls...and ponies."

The production boasts two or three strong performances--notably by Jane Alderman, Kate Buddeke, and a vibrant Jon Michael Hall. The rest of the cast offer professional if not particularly exciting acting. A few audience members left at intermission of the preview performance I attended, but the second act is somewhat stronger than the first, and you do grow fond of some of the characters to the extent that they are developed--which, unfortunately, is not very much.

I will say that I enjoyed last year's 'August: Osage County,' but I did find the story line to be highly derivative: "Mama's Family" on steroids. Mr. Letts has been fortunate in hooking up with the Steppenwolf Theater Company and its extraordinarily talented actors and directors who allow his work to show itself in the best possible light.

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1 comment:

  1. Great reviewer! More succinct than the NY TIMES! And much clearer!