Meteor Shower • An Existential Tour de' Force Not to Be Missed

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Theatre,   By: Robert E Martin

14th March, 2020     0

Last night a small miracle occurred with Pit & Balcony Theatre’s remarkable production of Steve Martin’s comedy ‘Meteor Shower’:  for 90-minutes the audience in attendance had an opportunity to take a brief vacation from the exponential spread of fear & uncertainty wrought by our current existential crisis and take a journey into a different variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences: the Perseid meteor shower of 1993, where up to 350 meteors per hour lit up the August sky; and a phenomenon that Martin creatively uses to explore the human condition.

With remarkably crafted performances by all four of the talented actors populating the stage, state-of-the-art technical touches & devices, and beautifully crafted set-design, the audience had an opportunity to explore the transformative dynamics of two sets of couples (Corky & Norm, portrayed by Colleen Cartwright & Kale Schafer) and Gerald & Laura (played by Jonah Connor & Trashan Donald).

The first couple aspire to become the best version of themselves and attain upward social mobility by carving a socially acceptable road to attain their goals; whereas the second couple are all about self-involvement and expediency through words & actions driven by living in the moment.  Through the amplified ambiance of this singular & celestial event, Meteor Shower opens its lens on universal questions and the architecture of inner personality defined as much by the conscious ego as it is by the vast cosmos of our of often ill-defined sub-conscious.   

As Gerald, Jonah Connor excels as a Type A bully, Lothario and self-appointed visionary; and as Laura, Trashan Donald possesss a smoldering sensibility as a former West Coast editor for Vogue, a genius under-miner and freelance vixen.

As Corky, Colleen Cartwright displays a bemused yet innate sensibility in her climb for social acceptance; while Kale Schafer encompasses a sympathetic vulnerability and affection for Corky - sharing their roles perfectly as an average repressed couple.

But more significantly - especially insofar as this debut regional performance was staged on the same day that viral fear was exploding all around us in the form of a different variety of Meteor (or is it Media?) Shower, the blend of humor and wisdom of Martin’s narrative to explain how meaning is both universal and personal became even more poignant, as did the gift of levity that this performance delivers.

As director Jeff List notes in the program notes: The largest questions come from, and are answered by, the individual in the moment through actions. And in order to survive any crisis, we must keep our eyes open to all possibilities and variety of pitfalls - whether they emanate from the outward projections of our fears and confidences, or the inner but unseen fortitude of our subconscious impulses to speak and seek their own truths.

Pit & Balcony’s production of Meteor Shower - like the astronomical Perseid event upon which it is framed - is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event that I urge each and every one of you to see for yourselves.  Sadly - because of the existential crisis we are currently facing - next week’s performances have been cancelled.

So I urge you to seize the moment. 

Performances are still happening tonight at 7:30 PM and tomorrow at a 3:00 PM matinee.



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