Oscar E Moore

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METEOR SHOWER – A Steve Martin conundrum hits Broadway

December 16th, 2017 by Oscar E Moore


Twenty minutes into this 80 minute puzzling and slight but bloated idea penned by Steve Martin, there I sat – fourth row on the aisle – at the Booth Theatre – wondering what was happening as other members of the audience giggled and guffawed at the nonsense happening on stage.

Had I entered some twilight zone where Beethoven’s Fifth blared and stars raced across the backdrop of the sleekly designed Ojai home (inside and out) by Beowulf Boritt of real life stars Corky (Amy Schumer perky and pony-tailed) and Norm (Jeremy Shamos – master of the quadruple take)  as they eagerly await their star guests for the evening Gerald (an over-the-top Keegan-Michael Key) and Laura (Laura Benanti – looking very First Lady Trump); wondering who sent the bouquet of three large eggplants without a card that sits alongside the stuffed celery sticks?

Celery sticks aren’t the only things stuffed in this production.  Jerry Zaks, King of “do anything for a laugh” and I mean “anything” attempts to even outdo himself.  Some things work, most things don’t.

I have a good sense of humor.  But it isn’t Steve Martins.  A comic who made a name for himself on SNL doing outrageous skits, employing sight gags and sexual innuendos that sometimes fell flat but that the audience adored.  So if you like all that stuff “Meteor Shower” is for you.

It’s a cliché-ridden sex fantasy farce about a married couple who have obvious problems and have been to joint therapy.  Corky has been a cannibal and Norm is Normal or as Normal as one can be in La La Land.

The other couple could be their subconscious selves or just two annoying newly made friends that cause sparks and unusual couplings before the evening is finished.  Gerald is a bombastic know-it-all braggart and Laura is a beauty with a razor sharp tongue and stare.

College frat humor at best.  The audience really started to perk up with the announcement that one of the men has “an enormous dick” – which can be a huge advantage or disadvantage depending on how one uses it.

How to get through a marriage circa 1993 Hollywood style.  Fight, therapy, make believe, do drugs, drink, fight, make-up, threesomes, switch mates or just try to write about it in a self-help way.

It’s all a surreal pseudo-intellectual gimmick portrayed in short quick and repetitive scenes of the arrival of the guests that wears thin very quickly.

Without the name of Steve Martin on the script and the four popular stars signed on I do not believe that the long list of producers would have given it a second thought.

Best line – “Just rub it around the rim.”   Enough said.

Limited engagement through January 21.


Photo:  Matthew Murphy

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