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Steve Martin has no point

Who needs clarity when you have charm and humor?

Two couples or the same couple twice? Left to right: Jenna Fischer, Greg Germann, Alexandra Henrikson, Josh Stamberg.
Two couples or the same couple twice? Left to right: Jenna Fischer, Greg Germann, Alexandra Henrikson, Josh Stamberg.

Why do we say what we say? It’s not always a clear choice. Sometimes we just say stuff. Where do the words come from? Who’s in there calling the shots? It could be a single entity or it could be a legion.

In his new play, Meteor Shower, Steve Martin explores this phenomenon in a risk-free environment. The show is blatantly unrealistic, which creates a safe space around the language games which ensue.

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There are two couples in the show. Corky and Norm, and Laura and Gerald. On second thought there might not be two couples. The two couples could be different aspects of the same couple — you know, Fight Club-style. It’s unclear, and I think Martin intended it to be unclear.

Clarity can be so inelegant. Who needs clarity when you have charm and humor? Furthermore, how many of us communicate our thoughts with clarity anyway?

Martin keeps the storyline as foggy as the half-baked thoughts we spew out of our face-holes dozens of times per day. Scenes are repeated but the characters change their responses and reactions as the dialogue spins out of control.

Yet amid the zany language and dick jokes a certain profundity deepens as the show progresses. The existential crisis of relationship is presented to us in several guises — straight, gay, monogamous, swinger, committed, cynical, supportive, truthful, and deceptive.

Every relationship, outside of family (one would hope), has the potential for all of these elements simultaneously. If we want to go a step further we relate to ourselves in a multitude of different ways minute to minute.

I don’t think Steve Martin is making a point. I don’t think he cares to make a point. What he has created is a bit of entertainment that personifies the insanity of our inner dialogue and the tangled web of relationship.

We’re all nuts on the inside — some more than others.

Play's run ended September 18

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Two couples or the same couple twice? Left to right: Jenna Fischer, Greg Germann, Alexandra Henrikson, Josh Stamberg.
Two couples or the same couple twice? Left to right: Jenna Fischer, Greg Germann, Alexandra Henrikson, Josh Stamberg.

Why do we say what we say? It’s not always a clear choice. Sometimes we just say stuff. Where do the words come from? Who’s in there calling the shots? It could be a single entity or it could be a legion.

In his new play, Meteor Shower, Steve Martin explores this phenomenon in a risk-free environment. The show is blatantly unrealistic, which creates a safe space around the language games which ensue.

Sponsored
Sponsored

There are two couples in the show. Corky and Norm, and Laura and Gerald. On second thought there might not be two couples. The two couples could be different aspects of the same couple — you know, Fight Club-style. It’s unclear, and I think Martin intended it to be unclear.

Clarity can be so inelegant. Who needs clarity when you have charm and humor? Furthermore, how many of us communicate our thoughts with clarity anyway?

Martin keeps the storyline as foggy as the half-baked thoughts we spew out of our face-holes dozens of times per day. Scenes are repeated but the characters change their responses and reactions as the dialogue spins out of control.

Yet amid the zany language and dick jokes a certain profundity deepens as the show progresses. The existential crisis of relationship is presented to us in several guises — straight, gay, monogamous, swinger, committed, cynical, supportive, truthful, and deceptive.

Every relationship, outside of family (one would hope), has the potential for all of these elements simultaneously. If we want to go a step further we relate to ourselves in a multitude of different ways minute to minute.

I don’t think Steve Martin is making a point. I don’t think he cares to make a point. What he has created is a bit of entertainment that personifies the insanity of our inner dialogue and the tangled web of relationship.

We’re all nuts on the inside — some more than others.

Play's run ended September 18

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Comments

I know nothing about the play. But one must remember that Martin started out as a writer (not actor, musician, comedian, magician, etc.), and writing has remained a huge part of his output. His original major in college was philosophy. He's obviously an intellectual (like the truly-great Steve Allen), with an incredible sense of humor (like Allen's). But, based on much of his comedic yield, I think the headline is probably right: "Steve Martin has no point." And that's OK.

Sept. 28, 2016
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