Manna From Heaven?

Manna From Heaven?

APT’s ‘Meteor Shower’ snarky, absurd, hilarious


“Snarky, sexy, stunning.”

“Absurd, titillating, wry.”

“Hilarious, surprising, absurd.”

“Stuff gets crazy.”

Ask the Arkansas Public Theatre cast and director of “Meteor Shower” to describe the script by popular comic Steve Martin in three words, and these are some of their answers. Director Ed McClure adds that having seen the comedy on Broadway, “it was so funny and fresh and modern I knew instantly we had to bring it to APT.”

“Audiences need to come with an open mind and let the story wash over them, just hang on for the wild and crazy ride,” adds Amy Eversole, who will portray Laura on the rescheduled dates of June 5-7 and June 11-14. “And by the end, it’ll all make some sense … or not.”

So here’s the premise — and if you think it sounds like Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” you won’t be the first person to think so.

Corky and Norm are an Ojai, Calif., couple working diligently on their marriage, right down to the formulaic interactions if someone’s feelings are hurt. But as New Age as they are, they’re also not opposed to some social climbing made possible when the Newmans, “an apparently well-connected Santa Barbara couple,” invite themselves over to watch the Perseid meteor shower of 1993.

Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney describes the Newmans as “magnificent specimens with intimidating personalities to match. Rangy, handsome and overflowing with masculine confidence, Gerald … delivers each polished pearl of wisdom with the stentorian self-infatuation of a veteran stage ham. Laura is a slinky goddess in a strappy gold number that outlines her flawless shape to perfection. … She’s also masterful at disguising casual put-downs as compliments, or lobbing insinuations that fuel Corky’s escalating unease, and the guests’ blithe deployment of non-sequiturs throws their hosts even further off-balance.”

In the APT production, Joseph Farmer portrays Gerald opposite Eversole’s Laura.

“Mr. Martin has written an absurdist masterpiece,” Farmer opines. “Much was given, and even more has been discovered during the rehearsal process. [Plus] to collaborate with one of my favorite actors is a true gift.”

“My character, Laura, is portrayed as a woman confident and secure in her sexuality, unafraid to speak her mind,” says Eversole. “She thrives on antagonistic interactions and wants to maintain the upper hand. I’m still adding layers to her and discovering her inner world/back story because she operates from a different place for sure.

“Laura and I are not much alike, so that’s always a fun challenge and intimidating at the same time,” she adds.

What happens between the two couples depends on which version of the storyline you follow — and you’ll see more than one, as Martin restarts the play several times in its 80-minute running time.

“Martin’s comic thesis is that Corky and Norm are so repressed, it takes a cosmic event on the scale of a meteor shower to unleash their inner selves,” Variety critic Marilyn Stasio wrote. “’When I repress something, I push it way down and kick dirt over it,’ Norm tells anyone who needs things spelled out. ‘If you don’t deal with your subconscious, it will deal with you,’ Corky warns those same slow learners.”

“I play Norm. He’s referred to as ‘Normal Norm,’” says Scott Kammerzell, a newcomer to APT. “Norm is so like me that I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life for this part.”

“There are several twists and turns in this show, so I really want the audience to come in without expectations so they can be surprised,” says APT veteran Stephanie Whitcomb, who portrays Corky. “And I hope they leave talking about how funny and fun the show was, but also maybe think about their own relationships in regards to trust and communication.”

“I hope they leave saying, ‘Did I just see what I thought I just saw?’” McClure concludes. “This show is so different — and funny as only the comedic mind of Steve Martin could conjure.”



‘Meteor Shower’

WHEN — 8 p.m. June 5-6, 2 p.m. June 7; again June 11-14

WHERE — Arkansas Public Theatre at the Victory in Rogers

COST — $30-$36

INFO — 631-8988 or

Categories: Theater