Set in Uptown Chicago, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts, which opens this Saturday at GableStage at the Biltmore, tells the tale of Arthur, a former 60s radical and owner of a rundown donut shop, and the offbeat friendship he shares with Franco, his young African American employee. The play comically explores the challenge of embracing diversity through the redemptive power of friendship. Arthur and Franco are different in every way, and that makes for some poignant moments and a lot of laughs.
Movies and television have had their share of classic odd couples like Arthur and Franco. Here is our list of the top five bromances found in TV and film:
1. Oscar and Felix (The Odd Couple)
Can't have an odd couple list without the actual odd couple. Oscar and Felix are the epitome of the polar opposite friendship. Felix is the divorced neat-freak and Oscar the incurable slob. But it's their differences that make them so endearing, and their friendship real. Felix and Oscar would set the tone for bromances with nothing in common in movies and television for decades to come.
2. Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street)
They're basically the odd couple in Muppet form. Sure Ernie can be an inconsiderate menace. And Bert is an uptight asshole (you know, for a puppet). But these two are icons of friendship that have entertained children with their everyday shenanigans for decades. Ernie's got his rubber duckies and Bert loves him some pigeons. Opposites? Absolutely. BFFs? Damn straight.
3. Jerry and George (Seinfeld)
George Costanza is rude, selfish, inconsiderate and obnoxious. And that's why he's so damn awesome. Jerry is thin, neat and single. Whether they're looking for an excuse to break up with a girl ("She eats her peas one at a time!") or whether Jerry's comparing George to Biff Loman, the banter between these two have become a thing of legend. And yet we've always wondered how they became friends in high school and sustained it all those years well into their thirties. The answer: George is Jerry's perfect foil. Jerry's jokes never fly better than when he's ripping on Costanza. It's a friendship that's meant to last forever, even when Jerry is killing "independent-George."
4. Gilligan and the Skipper (Gilligan's Island)
Maybe the friendship was forced because these dudes were stuck on a deserted island all those years. And sure they had the professor and his coconut radios to hang with and, of course, there was Ginger and Marianne. But in the end, the odd friendship of the Skipper and his little buddy was what kept this show intact. That and the zany slapstick comedy, of course. Taking off your hat and hitting someone with it? That's gold!
5. Jack and The Duke (Midnight Run)
You may not agree with the inclusion of these two onto the list. But to quote the chain smoking bounty hunter Jack Walsh, "We got two words for you: Shut the fuck up." Played brilliantly by Robert DeNiro and Charles Groden, Jack and The Duke are the classic odd couple turned good buddies in this 1988 action comedy. Groden is the white collar criminal wanted for embezzlement and Jack is called to track him down and bring him in. The fire and ice personalities clash with comic precision as the two make their way cross country. It's like Bert and Ernie, but with guns and F-bombs!
Superior Donuts runs through April 10 at GableStage at the Biltmore (1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables). Tickets range from $15 (for students with valid ID) to $47.50. Visit gablestage.org.