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Theater review: 'Two Wrongs' at the Lounge Theatre

May 6, 2010 |  7:00 pm
400.twowrongs0421_0020_2 Scott Caan is a working actor who books plenty of feature film work. That said, there’s something appealing about the fact that Caan, also the son of James, keeps returning to small theater to ply his craft as a playwright.

Which, if far from perfect, is not inconsiderable. Caan’s new play, “Two Wrongs,” now at the Lounge in Hollywood, explores the messy interactions between two young urban neurotics and the unethical psychiatrist who bamboozles both. Julian (Larry Clarke) is the shrink in question, who initially and somewhat unaccountably plays Cupid between his patients, Terry (Val Lauren), a lonely neurotic looking for love, and Shelly (Bre Blair), a beautiful misanthrope who can do without it.

Here, as in his previous play, “Almost Love,” Caan indulges in a sort of circular dialogue that sounds suspiciously impromptu, as if it were taped during an improvised rehearsal. Be patient. More often than not, that meandering dialogue culminates in a belly laugh. And, although he occasionally verges on the self-indulgent, Caan is developing a clever signature style, earmarked by bursts of ameliorating humor that are both welcome and disarming.

In effective counterpoint to the sometimes ephemeral chitchat, director Missy Yager adopts a propulsively urgent tone that gives the humor added bite. The actors are uniformly charming, but Yager needs to address their tendency to overemphasize.  One doesn’t always have to slap one’s thigh or an adjacent piece of furniture to make a point. Steve Altman did the sprightly sound design, and Jeff Robinson contributes a workmanlike set design, although the stage furniture is positioned oddly, requiring the actors to constantly crane their necks and bodies to converse with one another.

– F. Kathleen Foley

“Two Wrongs,” The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.  8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends May 23.  $20.  (323) 960-1057. Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Photo: Larry Clarke (seated), Val Lauren and Bre Blair. Courtesy of the Mineral Theater Company.
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