Two Wrongs make a right smart play
By Cynthia Citron
HOLLYWOOD, California – If comedy consists of hilarious dialogue delivered with earnest sincerity and exquisite timing, then Scott Caan’s new play Two Wrongs is the pluperfect example of the genre.
A beautiful blonde nut job and a darkly handsome neurotic “meet cute” in the waiting room of their psychotherapist’s office. With their therapist’s “inappropriate and unethical” complicity, they get together, explore their parallel dysfunctions, and discover that they are soulmates.
And that’s all of the plot I’m going to tell you, because after a few minutes you know exactly where it’s going—and getting there is all the fun!
The gorgeous Bre Blair, recognizable from her many film and TV roles (The Back Up Plan, Brothers and Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy), makes her L.A. stage debut as Shelly, the girl who “likes to be alone.” Aside from her impeccable deadpan timing, she delivers an unselfconscious parody of a woman in heat that is worth an Ovation Award (or a Tony) all by itself.
Val Lauren plays Terry, her new boyfriend, an obsessive, commitment-phobic womanizer with loneliness issues and extravagant charm.
And Larry Clarke, a beer-bellied Kelsey Grammer look-alike, plays Julian, their therapist. Demonstrating professional reasonableness, he appears to be the embodiment of the perfect therapist until his “I’m only human” emotions unravel, transforming him into a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein.
This delightful production of Two Wrongs is a world premiere, but not playwright Scott Caan’s first outing. His previous plays, which include Almost Love and 911, have been staged at The Playhouse West Repertory Theater, where he has been a member of the company since 1996. He has directed plays and films and, like his father, James Caan, is also an actor (most notably in the Oceans 11, 12 and 13 series).
Missy Yager, who directs this three-actor play with alternating intensity and a light playful touch, is best known as a Broadway actress and TV regular. She is a founding member of the Open Window Theater Company in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she has directed both classic plays and original new works.
Set Designer Jeff Robinson, who has created a brightly colorful and pleasant office environment, has also enhanced the pseudo-brick walls with his own fascinating paintings. One, a floor-to-ceiling bookcase crammed with books piled flat on the shelves is actually a trompe l’oeil so meticulously rendered that you have to get inches away before you can believe that those aren’t real books.
Sound Designer Steve Altman, erstwhile composer at Motown Records, recently directed the terrific John Lennon musical Just Imagine and Russell Boast, who provides the lighting design, is a South African who was awarded the Nelson Mandela Artists Award for his contributions to theater when he was just 21 years old.
It’s an incredibly prestigious working ensemble. But, as in all theatrical productions, the play’s the thing. And this one is a lollapalooza, a hearty laugh-out-loud, feel-good comedy that will engage you throughout, just as it does the audience full of attractive 20 and 30-somethings that packs the house each weekend.
Two Wrongs will continue at Lounge Theatre 2, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7. It is scheduled to run until May 9th, but call the theater at (323) 960-1057 because in response to popular demand, if the schedule can be worked out, it may be extended.
Drama Critic Citron is Los Angeles bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World.
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