New in 2017 A California couple invites another couple to dinner during a meteor shower in a new absurdist comedy by Steve Martin.
From the producers: It’s a hot night in Ojai, California, and Corky and her husband Norm are having another couple over for dinner. Laura and Gerald, though, aren't looking for a casual evening of polite small talk with new friends. Eventually, the two couples find themselves in a marital free-fall matched in velocity and peril only by the smoldering space rocks tearing through the sky. Entertaining has never been more entertaining than in this "cosmic comedy from the master of the American absurd" (Variety).
The cast of "Meteor Shower" includes Emmy winner Amy Schumer ("Inside Amy Schumer," "Trainwreck"), Keegan-Michael Key ("Key and Peele"), Tony winner Laura Benanti ("Gypsy," "She Loves Me") and Tony Award nominee Jeremy Shamos ("Clybourne Park," "Noises Off"). Tony winner Jerry Zaks ("Hello, Dolly!") directs.
The play received its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego before going on to play New Haven, Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre. Here's a trailer from the Long Wharf production:
Author Steve Martin started his comedy career in the 1960s as a writer for "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," and later as a frequent guest on "The Tonight Show." In the 1970s, Martin performed his offbeat, absurdist comedy routines before packed houses on national tours. Since the 1980s, having branched away from comedy, Martin has become a successful actor, as well as an author, playwright, pianist, and banjo player, eventually earning him an Emmy, Grammy, and American Comedy awards, among other honors. Martin’s last Broadway project was the Tony-nominated musical "Bright Star," which he co-wrote with Edie Brickell.
Martin returns here to the absurdist humor that marked his ascent to the comic pantheon. [His] writing veers in and out of realism, which lets the playwright throw in some gutsy twists and an unexpectedly dark backstory. The show zigzags across lanes with relentless speed, with help from an expert cast. Yet despite a somewhat strained attempt to explain itself at the end, "Meteor Shower" never quite coalesces into a convincing whole. Its entertaining moments blaze, then disappear into an empty sky.
In the confident hands of Martin, the premise is polished to sparkling. All four actors enjoy a share of the silliness, which they put over ably. But the night belongs to Schumer, her timing, her mugging, her deftness with some extremely ridiculous gags. The comedy is not in service of a message any deeper than that marriage is challenging and strange. The resolution comes as swiftly as a cut to commercial. But even as it hurdles towards its abrupt, if sentimental, ending, "Meteor Shower" burns brightly with laughs