|Josh Stamberg as Gerald and Jenna Fischer as Corky|
in Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower". All photos by Jim Cox
Fifty years later those earlier audiences are now in their 70s and 80s and Martin is still drawing them into his comedy orbit, only this time he’s the playwright not that goofy cheeseburger slinging performer.
“Meteor Shower”, his latest play, is currently wowing audiences at the Old Globe with his far-out sense of humor that deals with the social mores of 1990s California. It has already been extended twice. Martin’s cleverly crafted comedy, peppered with adult situations and dialogue, is wickedly directed by Gordon Edelstein, artistic director of the famed Long Wharf Theatre of New Haven, Connecticut.
California, some claim, is a state of mind. In the past, it has dealt with flower children, Timothy Leary and LSD, Haight-Ashbury pot, TV driven mega-churches, along with evangelism, auto-centric grid-lock traffic and a host of fads too numerous to mention here. Guess what? California is still here. The life-style and the weather in the Golden State is still a dream that beckons and is worth pursuing.
|Jenna Fischer, Greg Germann, Alexandra Henrikson|
and Josh Stamberg in "Meteor Shower"
As the stars come out and the cocktails flow, tempers flare, and the sparks fly – literally, according to program notes (but no spoiler alerts at this time). The dialogue and adult situations are not out of Edward Albee’s playbook as in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” , but are more in line with a super cool Neil Simon-like comedy spiced with touches of very sophisticated ‘naughty’. However one views it, the play is pretty damn funny, at least it was the night I attended. Judging by the laughs, I would say the females in the audience caught more of the essence of the dialogue and situations than the gentlemen by far.
|Greg Germann and Josh Stamberg in|
|Jenna Fischer and|
Greg Germann in
|Alexandra Henrikson and|
Josh Stamberg in
Martin’s dialogue sparkles in a surrealist way, as long as you’re on his wavelength. If you’re not, you may miss his comic thrust of situations some think they would like to find themselves in. But, be careful what you wish for…
Director Edelstein leads the creative team headed by scenic designer Michael Yeargan’s clever backyard set, lighted by designer Donald Holder, along with costumes designed by Jess Goldstein. The original music and sound design is by John Gromada.
“Meteor Shower” is a highly entertaining comedy production that performs in the round on the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre stage and will perform through September 18, 2016.
-- Jack Lyons