Brian d’Arcy James Is Star of TV’s Superior Donuts Comedy

News   Brian d’Arcy James Is Star of TV’s Superior Donuts Comedy
 
Tracy Letts' 2009 Broadway play Superior Donuts is being adapted as a TV series by CBS with Tony nominee Brian d’Arcy tapped to star

The seriocomic play about change tapping at the door of a Northside Chicago doughnut shop was Letts' first play produced since August: Osage County won the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Acccording to Variety, d’Arcy James, who also starred in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, joins Jermaine Fowler, who will star in and co-executive produce Superior Donuts as a comedy for CBS TV Studios.

D'Arcy James will play Arthur, the owner of the donut shop, with Fowler as his new employee Franco. The donut shop and its patrons are at the center of a gentrifying Chicago neighborhood. Maz Jobrani has also been cast as a series regular.

The pilot will be written and executive-produced by "The Odd Couple" showrunner Bob Daily along with Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan ("Community"). James Burrows will direct the pilot.

Jon Michael Hill and Michael McKean in <i>Superior Donuts</i>
Jon Michael Hill and Michael McKean in Superior Donuts Photo by Michael Brosilow

The play had its world premiere in summer 2008 under the direction of Tina Landau at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. The Windy City cast and production team came to Broadway intact, where it ran 109 performances.

Here's how the play was described at the time: "Arthur Przybyszewski owns a decrepit donut shop in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Franco Wicks (Fowler), a black teenager who is his only employee, wants to change the shop for the better. This provocative comedy, set in the heart of one of Chicago's most diverse communities, explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship."

Arthur, a former Vietnam activist, is reluctant to change. "It's like he's locked himself inside a cryogenic chamber — walled himself off from the rest of the world," McKean, a Broadway veteran of Hairspray and The Homecoming, told Playbill magazine.

Comedian Maz Jobrani will play a new role created for the series, described as "a high-energy, over-caffeinated businessman, capitalism personified and living the American dream."

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