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Theater Review: The Exercise is a Stretch

The Exercise photo 4.jpg
Susan Hanfield and Keith Wyffels in 'The Exercise' at The Lounge Theatre. | Photo: WYNSOLO Photography
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In 1968 a play called The Exercise opened on Broadway. It closed after five performances. Why was that? Well, if you really have a morbid historical curiosity about these things, you can go see for yourself as this two-person drama is now getting its West Coast premiere production at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. Caveat emptor, though.

The plot: An actor and an actress who used to be romantically involved are now cast in a play together. They meet up before rehearsal to explore the text and the characters. They play improv games, and raw nerves are exposed. It turns out that in addition to the personal conflicts they still can't quite get over, their respective approaches to the craft of acting are so divergent they're practically incompatible. And the lines between the personal and professional get blurred.

We left at intermission.

The production has two casts appearing in alternate performances. The show we saw featured Susan Hanfield as The Actress, and she wasn't bad at all.

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The Exercise
The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
Friday and Saturday performances at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, through Aug. 29.
Tickets available through plays411.net