What does Steve Martin do with & # 39; Meteor Shower & # 39 ;? Your guest is as good as mine.


NEW YORK – With one toe submerged with uncertainty in sketching comedy and another in the theater of the absurd, Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower" is strange, even merrily, with flat feet. Great comedians Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael Key debuted on Broadway in this light affair, one in which they and their co-stars, Laura Benanti and Jeremy Shamos, at least manage to give a convincing impression of having a good time. 19659003] Oh, there are some cute parts that are tailor-made for Schumer's socially awkward comedy, and Benanti is dazzlingly perfect for the role of an inscrutable mischief maker. As for "Meteor Shower" itself, which had its official opening on Wednesday night at the Broadway Booth Theater, well, it's just a weird mix. Martin is determined in this show of hour and 15 minutes to keep us guessing where he is going. The most pressing issue is that you are not sure where it comes from either.

The theme is marriage, and a proven link on a 1993 night when the sky is lit with a magical rain of celestial objects, and the California home of a couple of milquetoast, Schumer & Corky and Shamos & # 39; s Norm, is visited by an eccentrically charismatic couple, Key Key's talker, Gerald, and the uninhibited Laura de Benanti. Apparently, they have come with the sole intention of throwing curved balls at their hosts, as when Gerald rejects Corky's invitation to learn more about a topic with the too sarcastic reply: "If you do not mind, I would prefer not. incorporated. "

Strangeness is transmitted without foundation; In this sense, "Meteor Shower" is built as a sketch on "Saturday Night Live", Martin's own test field for a long time. You can imagine the recurrent gag: when the cast members, Key and Benanti knock on the door, the hearing of a studio breaks the rumor. Yes, it is time for another installment of "The uncomfortable", those scandalous threats that come to take a drink and stay to get you out of control. On the night I attended, there was an even more sure indication that we were in an "SNL" territory forgiving: at one point, forced to snuggle and snuggle in an armchair, Schumer and Benanti broke character and locked themselves. [19659006] Amy Schumer, in her Broadway debut, plays Corky. (Matthew Murphy)

Martin is no stranger to theater. His work "Picbado at the Lapin Agile" was produced off Broadway in the mid-90s, and his musical with Edie Brickell, "Bright Star", had a brief commitment on Broadway last year. Like both efforts, "Meteor Shower" feels a bit fraudulent, the work of an artist that resembles an easel of another person and can not do it well. With an excess of gadgets under the command of the exaggerated director Jerry Zaks, a plot to stop and restart, a vague supernatural superimposition, a set of Beowulf Boritt that turns unnecessarily every seven minutes: continually takes into account a better mastery of surrealism by anyone from a range of other playwrights, from Thornton Wilder to Will Eno.

The mechanics of the plot are so weak that you have to conclude sometimes that the playwright is chasing us: before we know the truth about Gerald and Laura, for example, Norm and Corky receive a call from an acquaintance, who inform. totally in the diabolical foundation of the night. And if that is not clear enough, well, Gerald and Laura will eventually explain who they are, just so that each person pays up to $ 350 for a seat for this undercooked event.

Schumer is quite a game, although clearly he is not overly challenged by playing Corky, who, like the others, is not so much a character as a construction. He has a presence to spare and is comfortable sharing the stage with theater professionals such as Benanti and Shamos. Key, on the other hand, seems totally at sea. He declaims his lines with a booming voice, as if he were in a parody of "Macbeth." As with many other things that happen in "Meteor Shower", the show seems to emanate from some other distant planet.

Meteor Shower, by Steve Martin. Directed by Jerry Zaks. Costumes, Ann Roth; lighting, Natasha Katz; sound, Fitz Patton; Production stage manager, J. Jason Daunter. Around 75 minutes. Tickets: $ 59- $ 350. At the Booth Theater, 222 W. 45th St., New York. Visit telecharge.com or call 212-239-6200.

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