Cycles @ Hollywood Fringe

Cycles” by Robert Litz is a well-acted, sharply directed and crisply written piece that only suffers from a decidedly forced plot point inflicted on the work by the playwright in a needless effort to crank up the drama as the piece rounds into home stretch.

Litz might have pulled it off but for the staleness of the plot twist and the accompanying revelation.

Conflicts needn’t be comic in nature, not matters of life and death.

A Girl Scout cookie drive can be just as dramatic as finding what brought the plague down on Thebes.

In “Cycles” the business views of two men clash in a Boston gym.  Dominic Rains plays Buzz, a muscular social Darwinist, who’s ready to devour the world in three bites with little chewing.  Alan Rosenberg, who will be familiar to viewers of Cybil and L.A. Law, is Jake, the old lion who sits and growls disdainfully at the folly of youth.

It’s the collision of old school “hard sell” versus new school “rape pillage and leave nothing living harder sale”.  While Buzz rants and rails how he busts his ass and is always getting screwed by his co-workers, Jake tries to get him to listen to the Golden Rule – “All business is personal.”

Rains and Rosenberg are both wonderfully skilled actors and director Stefan Lysenko has given them a splendid edge, and the three of them give Litz’ tight little character study all the conflict it needs.