NY Times Review | 10K (World Premiere) | by Neil LaBute

Looking to switch up your exercise regimen? Want to challenge your ethics while you increase your heart rate and tone your glutes? Then why not audition for a Neil LaBute play?

Since “Bash,” a 1999 trilogy of one-acts, Mr. LaBute has shown himself to be adept at plays in brief. If “10K” doesn’t match the high intensity of some of his earlier works, it’s still a highlight of the first evening of 59E59’s annual “Summer Shorts” festival. And it’s a great cardiovascular routine for its actors, too.

A man (J. J. Kandel) and a woman (Clea Alsip) meet while stretching at a suburban park. They decide to run together, and as the kilometers tick by they reveal fantasies and secrets, a mix of the mildly far-fetched and the nicely chilling. You can feel the playwright’s manipulations, but the play is vigorously performed.

Mr. LaBute, who also directs, has the actors jogging in place at a fast clip, feet slapping the stage floor, breasts and pecs bouncing. That Ms. Alsip and Mr. Kandel should manage to speak the lines without panting or collapsing seems sufficient accomplishment. That they can convey character at the same time really deserves applause. Let’s hope someone hands them rehydration salts as soon as they come offstage.

By ALEXIS SOLOSKI July 28, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015