(Photo credit: Geffen Playhouse) I recently saw "Icebergs" at the Geffen Playhouse, and not only will this play transfer to Broadway if I know anything about the theater business, but it will win a Tony if the judges have any sense. It is light-years better than Pulitzer-Prize winner Clybourne Park, far better than The Humans (winner of the 2016 Tony for Best New Play, among other things), and on par with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, winner of the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. The audience connects with the characters in a far more effective way than in the plays mentioned above - we root for the aspirations of the L.A. couple in their mid-thirties, the husband a filmmaker and the wife a struggling actress, who attempt to pursue their dreams of career success while struggling to have a baby and also (for the wife) struggling with the consequences of having a baby in today's world, with the threat of global warming, but we also root for the African-American scientist friend, married with one child and another on the way, who stays with them while he's in town for a conference and who ultimately gives the most moving speech about being black in America today that I've heard in a long time. The other supporting roles (the wife's friend and the husband's agent) also feel real rather than cardboard characters. We're truly treated to a slice of life for people we care a lot about from the start, and it is refreshing that the play is rooted in L.A. I loved everything about it.
I had two minor comments about specific dialogue points that made me cringe: (1) after the powerful speech by the African-American actor, the "well said" of the other cast members seemed superfluous, and (2) when the wife's friend decides to give her cat to the husband's agent - don't ask - it felt cheesy for the agent to ditch the date he had lined up and say "let's go and meet the love of my life" when he talks about meeting the cat. And that's it. The rest of the play is flawless. Everyone who has hung on to the pursuit of his/her dreams long after it was looked upon with benevolence by relatives will relate to the play - not just aspiring actors in NYC or LA. The play manages to tackle big issues, such as bringing a child in a world threatened by global warming and the continuing dangers faced by African-American today. Of course it was helped by the brilliant delivery of the fantastic cast, in particular Nate Corddry as the husband filmmaker and Keith Powell as his friend the African-American scientist. The play got a lot of laughs the day I attended - it is not really a comedy but its insights into human nature and the life of the struggling actor are spot-on.
This was a great play, the deserving recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. It'd be a big loss for the East Coast if it doesn't make it to New York City and the Great White Way.