Meteor Shower is a in actuality humorous play. Keening-cherish-a-howler-monkey humorous. Carry out-a-recent-weep-laughing-emoji humorous.
What it is miles rarely, nonetheless, is a principal play. At Eighty minutes with out a intermission, this two-couples-one-queer-night present is shorter than an episode of Saturday Night Live, with which it shares a neatly-identified sketch comedy sensibility. You might per chance well per chance think in regards to the SNL writers-room pitch for a version of Who’s Disquieted of Virginia Woolf, however with four of standard-day The United States’s most hilariously loathsome of us.
Within the confident palms of author and comedy maestro Steve Martin, the premise is polished to sharp. Martin might per chance well per chance be the important-adorned author of films, books, two completely different plays (Picasso on the Lapin Agile and The Underpants, every of which ran Off-Broadway) to boot to a Broadway musical (Brilliant Star, created with Edie Brickell), however director Jerry Zaks has no longer misplaced witness of the fact that the playwright is the additionally the fellow in the three-part white suit, unfazed by an arrow piercing his head. Meteor Shower is, happily, on this absurdist vein. Right here, a wonderfully appointed Ojai, California house shall be similarly violated, first by eggplants of unknown providence, then by very doubtlessly no longer guests, and at closing, by meteors.
Our hosts are Corky (Amy Schumer, in her Broadway debut) and Norm (Jeremy Shamos), devotees of a leisurely label of couples treatment that has trained them to end mid-snark to behold into one every other’s eyes and advise their feelings. As they prime themselves with a “pre-wine” (in the unexcited sooner than Jeopardy! goes off and the final throw pillow is fluffed) the couple seem cherish the most unbearable one might per chance well per chance meet — until their guests, Gerald (Keegan-Michael Key, who cherish Schumer is a Broadway newcomer) and Laura (Laura Benanti, cherish Shamos, a stage aged) advance to convey that crown.
Gerald is a recognizable stress of Californian who calls for that you marvel at him marveling on the universe; his spouse is the model of lady whose refusal of a canapé is an indictment of every carb you’ve consumed since freshman year. “Meteors are coming,” enthuses Gerald. “Strangers from all of the sudden. They pick me relief to the fact of me!” Adds Laura: “You wants to be conscious that all the pieces reminds him of him.” Key and Benanti meet the topic of getting to play constructs, no longer genuine of us. They exist to needle their hosts, a wonderfully reputable motive, given Schumer and Shamos’s hysterical reactions.
All four actors enjoy a portion of the silliness, which they place over ably in shadowy-out scenes that recount and retell adaptations of the night’s events. However the night belongs to Schumer, her timing, her mugging, her deftness with some extraordinarily ridiculous gags. (I might per chance well per chance silent notify regret right here to genuine sufferers of Exploding Head Syndrome for before all the pieces believing Martin had invented it as quite of stage substitute for his leading lady.) It is miles a Broadway debut that, were she no longer already a film and TV star, would belong in the profession-launching class. Her provide makes the play, which Martin began writing some years ago and space in 1993, in actuality feel of this second. Asked, “Aren’t you joyful you’re no longer a man?” Schumer’s Corky replies, “Oh, so relieved. I couldn’t stand the total advantages.”
That is as shut as the present involves grazing topicality. The comedy is no longer in service of a message any deeper than that marriage is no longer easy and peculiar. The resolution, whereby Corky explains the that technique of their bizarro guests, comes as as a decrease to industrial. However at the same time because it hurdles towards its abrupt, if sentimental, ending, Meteor Shower burns brightly with laughs. B+