CYCLES, Robert Litz's funny and explosive new play, receives its world premiere as part of the 2012 Hollywood Fringe. Directed by Stefan Lysenko, CYCLES stars Emmy-nominated stage/screen veteran Alan Rosenberg opposite one of L.A.'s hottest young talents, Dominic Rains.
Set in a Boston Fitness Club, CYCLES flings us into the arena of the eternal conflict between youth and age. Andrew "Buzz" Burzini (Rains) and Jake Weisz (Rosenberg) are the only two patrons: Accidental encounter? Fated rendezvous? Or a well-laid deathtrap?
Buzz, a hungry young real estate broker – the ink barely dry on his license – is clearly up to something beneath the banter. Is he just trying to prove himself in this "survival of the fittest playground" or does he smell a potential investor for a big condo project? Jake slyly parries Buzz's advances, unwilling to tip his hand yet unable to resist reminding the swaggering upstart that he's still a force to be reckoned with. Like two lions facing off over the same turf, the eager and arrogant newbie challenges a cunning, battle-tested veteran of the wars.
Just when we think this might turn into a feel-good tale of an unlikely mentor/protégé bond, the play takes a gut-churning emotional one-eighty. We discover that these two men share far more than exercycles and an interest in real estate.
Jake once owned the North End building where Buzz lived till he was five. For thirty years Jake Weisz has been the monster in Buzz's closet, the man behind the arson fire that killed Buzz's father and drove his mother mad. But Buzz isn't at all ready for Jake's shocking story of what really happened (or didn't). Only the final moments reveal which of these scarred lions is left standing.
For the Litz-Lysenko team, in their first collaboration, the Hollywood Fringe is home ground. Litz is a resident playwright with the award-winning Elephant Theatre Company housed right next door; and Lysenko, the founder and former owner of Bliss Café on Vine and a regular fixture at WriteAct, has long been part of the fabric of the Hollywood Renaissance (he can literally count the steps from home to the Asylum stage). Both are members of The Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit where CYCLES was developed.
Rosenberg returns to the stage after the untimely demise of the HBO series LUCK in which he co-starred. Rains is, among his other accomplishments, a member of the award-winning Elephant Theatre Company, having appeared most recently in the Elephant's hit LOVE SICK.
ROBERT J. LITZ (writer) is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. He's written sixteen produced plays for Off, Off-Off Broadway, the regional theatres, and for the Elephant Theatre Company where he is a resident playwright. The Elephant premiered his critically-acclaimed One Fell Swoop. One World, directed by David Fofi, received NAACP nominations for Best Play and Best EnsemblE. Douglas, about Justice William O. Douglas, was named Best New Play by the Portland Critics Circle. He's also written five feature films, including House of Cards and the original script of Twister; seventeen shows for A&E, Biography, Discovery, and The History Channel on subjects ranging from Benjamin Franklin to Clipper Ships, the Vietnam War to the Chinese in America. Playing The Room, a feature-length documentary which he wrote and directed, about the making of a revolutionary recording of the complete Haydn solo keyboard works, was nominated for the prestigious Juno Award as Best Film on a musical subject. He recently won the 2012 Burger Prize for writing on the theatre. He is a member of The Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit and LAStageAlliance.
STEFAN LYSENKO (director)is a member of the Playwright Director Unit of The Actors Studio and most recently directed Doris Roberts & Jack Betts at the Unit. In the past, Lysenko worked on the stage under the direction of Stella Adler for several years in the late 80's. In 1990, the famous Playhouse West became another creative haven for Lysenko. During this period, he worked on the stage with such actors as Ashley Judd and Jeff Goldblum. Lysenko also starred in several feature films, including MAFIA! (Disney), THE LAST WILL (opposite Goran Visnjic,"ER"), INTERCEPTORS (opposite Ernie Hudson, "Oz") and THE STRAY (opposite Michael Madsen and Angie Everheart). Currently, Lysenko is negotiating distribution on his third award-winning feature film, STARTING FROM SCRATCH, starring himself and Billy Zabka (THE KARATE KID) and is in production on his fourth feature film, THE NEXT CASSAVETES. For more, go to www.blissing.com.