Meteor Shower

‘METEOR SHOWER’: Amy Schumer stars in this disappointing ‘comedy’ by Steve Martin. Photo: Matthew Murphy

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METEOR SHOWER
Written by Steve Martin
Directed by Jerry Zaks
Through January 21, 2018
Booth Theatre
222 West 45th Street
(212-239-6200), www.meteoronbroadway.com

 

By David NouNou

Thank God the show has star power. If it wasn’t for that, there isn’t a single reason why anyone would want to see this wisp of a marginal “comedy.” Even if you are a Steve Martin fan, you’ll find this 80-minute babble fest as a head-scratcher and ask “did he really write this”? You have to really stretch to find a plot here. Other than one-liners strung together, you’ll be grateful that it is only 80 minutes long.

Set in 1993 in Ojai, California, Corky (Amy Schumer) and Norm (Jeremy Shamos) are awaiting the arrival of their guests Gerald (Keegan-Michael Key) and Laura (the wonderful Laura Benantiwhom they never met beforefor cocktails to watch a meteor shower. Corky and Norm are the boring couple and Gerald and Laura are the aggressive couple who are going to stir things up between Corky and Norm or as they say “bring them down.” That is the entire plot of the show.

What happens in the ensuing 80 minutes is a lot of psychobabble that was big in the 1990s, getting in touch with your feelings and apologizing to each other for not respecting that feelings were hurt. The gimmick here is that they do the same scene with four different endings. Each time Corky and Norm advance their timidity until they overpower Gerald and Laura. Another way of looking at this is that Gerald and Laura are not real and only the invention of Corky and Norm fantasizing about finding themselves through other people by finding their strengths and weaknesses during a meteor shower. Wow, they had a lot of free time in Ojai to delve into such earth-shattering problems.

Amy Shumer has a larger-than-life persona. I give her credit for wanting to stretch her acting chops, but the poor thing has nothing to bite on to make her character be realistic. Keegan-Michael Key has played this role of the belligerent narcissist with better material in his award- winning Comedy Central show “Key and Poole.” Jeremy Shamos strains for credibility. The lone survivor is Laura Benanti and is she luscious when she is seducing not only the people on stage but the audience as well.

 

Published December 7, 2017

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