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Theatergoers on Broadway are often focused on the big name musicals: Chicago, Wicked, Phantom, and Hamilton (if they can get a ticket). But it’s often in plays, rather than musicals, that audiences find the biggest rewards. That’s certainly the case with Meteor Shower a new comedy from Steve Martin that stars Hollywood A-lister Amy Schumer, among others. The Knickerbocker team went to a showing this month, and we’re still laughing about it. Here’s why to go see Meteor Shower, now on Broadway!
It’s 1993 in Ojai, California and the perseids are about to swish across the sky. Norm (Tony-nominated Jeremy Shamos) and Corky (Schumer) have been married for nearly two decades, and have spent about as much time working on their relationship, with counseling, books and lots of open dialogue—“I understand you probably didn’t know you hurt me,” she says. “I honor your feelings,” he responds. They invite another couple, Gerald (hit comedian Keegan-Michael Key) and Laura (Tony-winning Broadway icon Laura Benanti), to watch the meteor shower. These outsiders, it quickly becomes apparent (to the audience, at least), have one goal: total marital destruction for Norm and Corky. It’s a wild, laugh-out-loud ride that repeats itself, fasts-forwards and rewinds.
Amy Schumer became a household name with the 2015 film Trainwreck, and Meteor Shower proves she’s hilarious both on-screen and on-stage. Her Corky is the ultimate hostess, and an ideal foil for every other character. Shamos excels as the bland (and aptly-named) Norm, while Key’s booming voice and personality make his Gerald a perfect caricature of arrogance and bombast. Benanti, though, steals the show. Her femme fatale Laura is as sleek as her silky dress. Together, the actors form a quartet, sharing lines with a flawless understanding of comedic timing.
Beowulf Boritt’s scenic design and Ann Roth’s costumes combine for a stunning visual experience. Norm and Corky’s house is sleek, with bold lines and colors; their clothing—gray-toned shirt and slacks for him, black slacks and a white sweater with black bow-ties for her—appears straight out of Men’s Warehouse and Talbot’s though, as Deadline’s Jeremy Gerard notes. Gerald and Laura bring more pizazz to their outfits. He goes for a designer blazer, a black tee, khaki capris and sandals; she’s in a flowy slip dress. And just wait for a couple of over-the-top prosthetics as the night progresses.
We haven’t laughed so hard, and so regularly, ever in a Broadway production. The actors’ talent and Steve Martin’s witty script made for one of our favorite nights at the theater!
Meteor Shower is playing at Booth Theatre through January 21. Stop by Charlie Palmer at The Knick for dinner before the show, or swing by after for rooftop drinks atop Times Square at St. Cloud. For more information, visit Meteor Shower on Broadway’s website.
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