Up Close with SUPERIOR DONUTS' Michael McKean

Michael McKean, television, film and stage star talks to New York Magazine about comedy, his career and playing a burnt out recluse and owner of a doughnut shop in Tracy's Lett's upcoming SUPERIOR DONUTS, which begins previews at the Music Box Theater tomorrow.

There are few actors with so varied a resume. McKean has done it all, from playing a goofy greaser on the television hit Leverne & Shirley, a heavy metal rock star in This is Spinal Tap, and starring in the Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming.

"I was lucky, but I tell people I was smart, because it sounds better," Mckean tells the magazine. "I like to think people assume I will give them something they can't get anywhere else."

Despite being most well known for his comedic roles, the actor believes that some of his "funniest" have in fact been the most tragic. "The funniest actors in the world are the ones who were really good actors," McKean says. "I'm not a clown fan-I don't think Red Skelton was funny, though a lot of people did. I thought he was silly and broke character. It's long been my thought that ideal comic acting is indistinguishable from any other kind, as far as approach goes."

When not performing on Broadway or reuniting with Spinal Tap co-stars for tours, McKeen and wife Annette O'Toole are writing a musical (one of their songs appeared in A Mighty Wind and was Oscar nominated). Click here for the full article.

The official opening of SUPERIOR DONUTS is set for October 1, 2009, transfered from the Steppenwolf.

The full cast from the original Chicago production of Steppenwolf's new American play "Superior Donuts" will reprise their roles when the play makes its Broadway debut. That talented group met the media on Tuesday, September 1st and BroadwayWorld.com's cameras were there.

The Broadway cast includes Steppenwolf ensemble members Jon Michael HillYasen Peyankovand James Vincent Meredith with Jane AldermanKate BuddekeCliff Chamberlain, Michael Garvey, Robert Maffia and Michael McKean.   "Superior Donuts" is written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning ensemble member Tracy Letts and directed by ensemble member Tina Landau.  The play enjoyed a sold-out, world-premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company last summer. 
 
"Superior Donuts" follows Letts' Tony Award-winning play "August: Osage County" (which had also its sold-out, world-premiere at Steppenwolf) into The Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street). Tickets for "Superior Donuts" are on sale through Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.  The Music Theatre box office will open on Wednesday, August 19, 2009.  "Superior Donuts" will perform Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
 
Arthur Przybyszewski owns a decrepit donut shop in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.  Franco Wicks, 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.
 
The Steppenwolf production of "Superior Donuts" is produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards,Jean DoumanianSteve Traxler and Jerry Frankel, the producing team behind Steppenwolf's "August: Osage County."
 
Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company's mission is to advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and contributing new works to the national canon.  The company, formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect and the development of artists through on-going group work.  Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of 42 artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking and textual adaptation.  For additional information, visitwww.steppenwolf.org.

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