Live Work Space yields two couples into their futures. One couple makes it. The other one?...

Set in a new loft building in downtown Los Angeles, there is a restlessness reflecting our shifting urban times. Satisfactory levels of commitment, sex and intimacy are all in question. Especially after so much recent death in the lives of a few of the main characters’ extended families.

 

 

Frances, an executive at the height of her catalogue career, is married to Tad. Frances is exceptionally powerful and craves strong, physical love. Tad, an inventor, is grieving his dead pothead brother and grabs at the past and the future at once, missing the present entirely.

Next door are Alan and Drake, a writer of questionable sociological nonfiction and a mid-level television executive who likes to cook, with their enticing open relationship as a possible model for connubial modernity. But this path only gets everyone into trouble. Gus, an actor who aims to please and Michelle, Drake’s oldest, clinging friend, want what they want, too. Career fulfillment, human warmth, something.

By the end of the play, the walls clear out and the finale sits atop of the building with an annoying, useless helicopter flying overhead, offering no escape. Disney Hall gleams in the distance. And some very important things do fall apart while some lesser ones remain. It is sad and funny, like a marriage that survives and a marriage that does not, in a chronic culture where closeness is desired but very difficult to achieve.

Live Work Space shows us the new Los Angeles, the one where not everyone works in the entertainment industry (though some do), where not everyone is self involved (though some are), where love is sex is love is maybe nothing more than a reliably grilled steak with your man at home or a night out trawling for sex with some stranger in a sterile corporate clam bar.

Live Work Space had its first public reading at West Coast Ensemble in Los Angeles with the following cast: David Youse, Kimberly Bailey, David Kaufman, Daniel Alemshah, Carla Barnett and Blake Anthony, directed by Ben Campbell.

Live Work Space has also had readings at The Road Theater Company and The Production Company in Los Angeles.