The Yes List – Michael McKean's Sweet Broadway Treat
Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, Tracy Letts' play Superior Donuts starring Michael McKean takes center stage.
Michael McKean's Sweet Broadway Treat
Following the Broadway success of his Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County, playwright Tracy Letts is bringing Superior Donuts to New York from the Chicago stage. The play centers around Arthur Przybyszewski, the trapped owner of the title’s shop, played by Michael McKean, forever beloved as Laverne & Shirley’s Lenny and Spinal Tap’s David St. Hubbins. For this production, McKean steps away from his Christopher Guest movie roles and onto the stage of New York’s Music Box Theater with the rest of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company cast. Examining the complicated issues or race and neighborhood gentrification in Uptown Chicago, the story centers around Vietnam War vet Przybyszewski and his only employee, black teenager Franco Wicks (played by Jon Michael Hill) who has aspirations of improving the middle-aged man’s donut dump, which he inherited from his parents’ upon their death. Through the prototypical relationship between the older white guy stuck in a rut and the troubled-but-secretly-sensible inner-city teenager who pulls him out of it may seem too Dangerous Minds, Letts breathes new life into an old story without biting off more than he can chew. For more on Superior Donuts, which opens Thursday, read Rachel Syme’s interview with Michael McKean.
The Great and Powerful Oz Turns 70
Generations of children have dreamed about strolling down the Yellow Brick Road and wished for their very own Toto. Now 70 years after The Wizard of Oz first premiered, a special two-disc edition of the film is available on Blu-Ray (as well as regular DVD format) to mark the anniversary. No matter how many times you have seen the Victor Fleming classic, imagine the view of Judy Garland and the boys ascending to the glowing Emerald City or the introduction of the colorful Munchkinland characters, digitally remastered with that extra HD sheen. At 70, The Wizard has certainly have a good amount of work done—from the rubiest of slippers to the hours of extras—but it’s well worth it. There’s no place like watching it at home.
The ICP’s Triennial Celebrates the Year of Fashion Photography
With the International Center of Photography’s third signature Triennial exhibition, the museum presents its final Year in Fashion show with the opening of Dress Codes on Friday, October 2. Featuring more than 100 installations from 34 artists who hail from 18 different countries, the survey of the most innovative international contemporary photography and video art includes the likes of veterans Cindy Sherman, Stan Douglas, and Lorna Simpson as well rising artists in the industry like Mickalene Thomas, Yto Barrada, Kimsooja, and Thorsten Brinkmann. Going far beyond the superficiality of clothing and delving into the more complex stories fashion often tells, the pieces in the exhibit, on view through January 17, examine the relationship between fashion and other sociological phenomena from gender to globalization. Whether it’s through colorful Indian textiles or costumed second life avatars, these artists explore style as a means of celebrating individuality and making cultural, social, and political statements. For more on the ICP’s exhibition, see Philip Gefter’s review of Dress Codes and view our gallery.