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World Premiere of Cycles at the 2012 Hollywood Fringe Festival
By Jesse Kapp
Robert Litz’s Cycles receives its world premiere at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival at the intimate Theatre Asylum Lab.
Directed by Stefan Lysenko, the explosive one-act is set in a Boston fitness club after hours where Andrew “Buzz” Burzini (Dominic Rains), a young hot shot real estate broker, meets renowned real estate success story Jake Weisz (Alan Rosenberg). Things begin innocently enough while the two talk business. Buzz is looking to close a big condo deal, and it looks like the only thing standing in his way might be his own unfaltering confidence. Jake, the older and wiser voice of experience, does his best to temper Buzz’s zeal with the type of advice that is earned from decades of hard work.
This seemingly innocent set-up gives us a chance to get a real sense of who these guys are before some startling developments take us into darker, more complicated terrain. Litz throws a serious curveball that makes us question the innocence of their encounter, a connection from the past between Buzz and Jake that complicates their motivations and desires.
With only two characters on stage there is no room for a weak link, and we are treated here to two actors that turn in stellar performances. Rains and Rosenberg seem to have no trouble as they go from quiet and nuanced conversation to explosive heights of anger and desperation. Buzz and Jake are guys we know, guys we’ve seen or met before, and at the beginning we think we have a grasp on where they’re coming from. Rains and Rosenberg set this up beautifully – the dialects, the body language, and their very palpable on-stage chemistry cue the audience to step into a rhythm that is no less satisfying for its familiarity. When this safety net is so hastily pulled away our leads run with it, emanating a very real sense of tension. They build this together, effortlessly trading the upper-hand back and forth until we realize that the manic energy they’ve created, gaining momentum and force, must somehow be resolved.
Director Stefan Lysenko keeps things moving beautifully as we hurtle towards this climax, shaping Litz’s words and two fine performers into a very nuanced, well-paced piece where all of the cards are certainly never on the table at the same time.
Cycles will see four performances during the Fringe Festival: June 16th at 5:30pm, June 17th at 1pm, June 19th at 10pm and June 20th at 7pm. Tickets are $15 and are available at http://hff12.org/817