Review: METEOR SHOWER plays on "repeat" at Garland Civic Theatre
Written by Steve Martin
Directed by Jeff Fenter
Produced by Garland Civic Theatre
Everyone knows Steve Martin. The writer, comedian, actor has been a star for nearly six decades. Those of us who have loved Martin and followed his career know that the first rule for watching anything he does is “Expect the Unexpected.” Meteor Shower definitely adheres to that rule, while also sneaking in moments reminiscent of his many appearances on Saturday Night Live and his stand-up comedy routines. Meteor Shower premiered on Broadway in 2017, and is currently onstage at Garland Civic Theatre.
Best described as absurdist theatre, Meteor Shower follows two couples through multiple versions of the same scene. Corky (played by Kimberly Hilton) and Norm (played by Thomas McKee) play host to Laura (played by Adelina Clamser) and Gerald (played by Gabriel Grinffiel) on an evening when a meteor shower is visible in the night sky. The same evening is replayed in each subsequent scene with interesting changes. It’s almost as though a room full of writers for SNL decided to create a skit about the two couples and then couldn’t agree on the details. So each writer’s script is performed back to back.
The hosts, Corky & Norm start out as an average, fairly normal couple. Their casual clothing is attractive but understated. They are the neighbors you would love to have drinks with and watch a meteor shower. The guests, Laura & Gerald are edgier and more overtly sexual, with a slightly sinister vibe. Describing the changes in the scenes would qualify as spoiler, so I will resist. Still I have to praise the skill with which this ensemble adapts to the changes in their characters that each scene variation requires. Hilton transitions from quietly innocent to confidently sensuous. Clamser has so much fun as the bitchy temptress that it highlights the transformation she makes when the tables are turned on her. Grinffiel is delightfully smarmy as the over-confident Gerald. McKee’s Norm is the ultimate nice guy who really steps up to protect and defend.
The action moves back and forth between the hosts’ living room and their backyard which is set up for viewing the meteor shower. To accomplish this Lighting and Scene Designer & Master Carpenter Edgar Leonardo Hernandez used a large turntable set which was manually rotated. A large screen behind the set featured projections of a meteor shower that was beautiful to watch. Costumes were designed by Kerra Sims, who is also listed as Producer. (Not that it would fit me Kerra Sims, but I really want Laura’s dress). Stage Manager Allison Larrea also served as Board Operator.
Even though we know that any show involving Steve Martin will throw surprises our way, we also know that when he is involved we can be sure we will be entertained. That is definitely true in this production. Meteor Shower is a short show with a running time of only 1 hour and 20 minutes. It runs without an intermission at Garland Civic Theatre, now through March 26th. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 pm. Sunday performances start at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be found at garlandcivic.org.
Experience Live Theatre,
Audience Rating: PG-13, language and sexual innuendo
Accessible Seating: Available
Hearing Devices: Not available
Sensory Friendly Performance: Yes
Production Sound Level: Comfortable volume level
Noises or visuals to prepare for: N/A
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