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Stage Change

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In our current climate, we often rely on the computer, television and new media sources for the latest news and opinions about global issues.

Last week, however, I turned to one of the longest standing forms of information and storytelling to get some insight about the state of the world, the theater. The play was Theater 40's romantic drama "The Ice-Breaker." It is the story of a young Ph.D student, Sonia (Asheigh Sumner) who is writing her dissertation on global warming based on the work of her hero, Dr. Lawrence Blanchard (Robert Mackenzie) a reclusive geologist who lives alone, secluded from his past in Arizona. She travels across the country to seek his endorsement for her research only to discover that what she wants is to play a role in explaining a changing planet. In the end, what she discovers is that it is the human heart that might need warming.

Now, I know what you are a thinking, "A love story about global warming? Are you crazy?" Far from it. In fact, this sweet story, written by co-producer and writer for CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, David Rambo, takes the audience on an incredible journey of insight and compassion while shedding light on environmental discourse.

Director Andre Barron does an outstanding job bringing the two opposing characters into a space where conflict begets love between a hopeful student and her ice-cold hero, a young woman and her passion and a retired scientist and his work. Barron has perfectly cast the play with Sumner and Mackenzie who perform brilliantly off one another. Sumner's captures the wide eyed curiosity of Sonia's eager spirit. Her performance is truly delightful. Mackenzie's progressive warming throughout the play makes audience members melt with compassion as we see him struggle with his past.

Barron also does not miss out on the details. In the small Theater 40 space in Beverly Hills, his creative team pays attention to the ambience as well as the mood. The sound and lighting choices accent the proper moments and Jeff G. Rack's set easily assists in transporting us to a dry desert night in Arizona.

It's time to break the ice, visit the Reuben Cordova Theater before June 6th.

Location: Performances of The Ice-Breaker will take place at Theatre 40, at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 Moreno Drive on the Beverly Hills High School campus.

Dates: Wednesdays-Saturdays, through June 6th.

For further information, go to the Theatre 40 website.