Isolation and tribalism, art and commerce, privacy and over-sharing, global warming and geological cycles, commitment and divorce, parental frustration and parental adoration, instability and inevitability.Perhaps Alena Smith’s world premiere “Icebergs” includes even more themes and metaphors than these, but the mind grows weary of trying to sort them out and eventually just wants to care about anyone on the Geffen Playhouse stage.That someone might be Calder (Nate Corddry), a filmmaker living in Los Angeles and at the crossroads of turning his thoughtful, sensitive screenplay into a big-studio moneymaker and his unsteady life into responsible adulthood.
In this production, under the direction of Randall Arney, Calder is the character the audience is likely to identify with, to root for, among all these thirtysomethings. The others are notably self-involved.Calder’s wife, Abigail (Jennifer Mudge), is an actor, undecided between propelling her career and trying, as Calder would prefer, to become pregnant.Into their Silver Lake home this hot November day comes Calder’s college friend, Reed (Keith Powell), tempted to turn back into a partying young adult but feeling responsible as a scientist and father. In Corddry’s performance, Calder is a soother, a welcomer, the warm host and person carefully tending the house.
Or not.The characters circling around Calder are amped up by the cast, including a full, in-costume dance number to Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” That’s the tribalism portion of the play. After knowing her renter for a month, Molly married her in haste two weeks ago and doesn’t even want to take the time to repent in leisure, barging in here to announce her intention to divorce.Calder’s hip agent Nicky (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe) insists on coming by this afternoon, too, to deliver big, big news that will change his and his clients’ lives. It might leave the non-Drake generations among the audience floating away on a chilly iceberg, though. The five clad themselves in Halloween skeleton onesies, finding commonality in their generation’s beat. Also into the home comes the apparently dramaturgically obligatory quirky gay neighbor, this time lesbian Molly (Rebecca Henderson).
18.Where: Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles.Tickets: $32-$90.Length: 1 hr., 40 mins., no intermission.Suitability: Adults.Information: 310-208-5454, www.geffenplayhouse.com. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. Tuesday–Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. ★When: 8 p.m.
Like the tramps in “Waiting for Godot,” we go on.Dany Margolies is a Los Angeles–based freelance writer. We fear, we prop one another up. The final metaphor of this two-act but intermissionless work leaves Calder and Abigail adrift, making a decision to pursue a path we have no confidence they’ll stay on.But, if we look below the surface — and the many jokes about Los Angeles — for an overarching meaning in her work, Smith seems to be saying all of this happened before, 250 million years ago, a generation ago, this morning.