Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Broadway Theater Review: Meteor Shower with Amy Schumer

Keegan-Michael Key, Jeremy Shamos, Amy Schumer, Laura Benanti. Photo: Matthew Murphy
Meteor Shower
By Steve Martin
Directed by Jerry Zaks
Booth Theatre
Through Jan. 21

By Lauren Yarger
Just throw reality right out the window and straight into outer space and then you can sit back and enjoy Steve Martin's Meteor Shower, starring Emmy-Award winner Amy Schumer in her Broadway debut.

If you try to think too much about this plot, or the bizarre behavior of the characters -- two couples meeting for drinks to enjoy a 1993 meteor shower in Ojai, CA -- you'll give up early on. Trust me though, it's worth hanging on to the tail of Martin's dark comedy for the twist ending and some laughs along the way.

Schumer is, Corky,  half of the evening's host couple. She and husband Norm (Jeremy Shamos) have invited Gerald (Keegan-Michael Key) and Laura (Laura Benanti) over in the hopes they will connect them with mutual acquaintances -- one an important business connection --  with whom they have been trying to meet. Sexually forward Laura and over-the-top confident Gerald (Key is a hoot) aren't what Corky and Norm were expecting.

Through flashback scenes and alternative realities, we discover that Laura and Gerald might not be who they appear to be, but when a fiery meteor (Natasha Katz, lighting design) hits the patio (one of the scenes that Beowolf Borritt's revolving set reveals) it has devastating -- and comedic results (created by Ann Roth's costume design) -- and the visitors' motives might be the least of Corky and Norm's problems.

Director Jerry Zaks coaxes well-timed, strong comedic performances from all of the actors. They don't take anything too seriously -- which would be a mistake -- but are controlled in their delivery to keep the action tight and focused for the one hour and 20 minutes without intermission. Key, also making his Broadway debut, is a surprising standout here, given the star power assembled for this meteor show. He makes Gerald so bizarre and funny, that you can't help but laugh. He evokes the style of the playwright and we can't help but think the two of them together on stage would be a treat.

Meteor Shower lights up the stage at the Booth Theatre, 222 West 45th St., NYC, through Jan. 21. Perfroamnce times vary. Tickets are $59 - $169: meteoronbroadway.com.

Additional credits:
Fitz Patton: Sound Design; Stephen Edlund, Associate Director

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- Launguage
-- Drug Use
-- Sexual Dialogue
-- Homosexuality
-- Homosexual Activity

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com. She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle. and the Episcopal Actors' Guild.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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