1. Stage

Jobsite Theater’s ‘Meteor Shower’ gets astronomical laughter | Review

Steve Martin’s voice is ingrained in the absurdist comedy.
Jordan Foote (Norm) and Jonelle M. Meyer (Corky) in Jobsite's production of Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower." [Courtesy of Pritchard Photography]
Published Sep. 13
Updated Sep. 13

It’s impossible not to laugh out loud during Jobsite Theater’s production of Meteor Shower, an absurdist comedy written by the comic actor Steve Martin.

That’s to be expected if you’re a fan of Martin. His voice in the dialogue is loud and clear. The male characters, in particular, come off like familiar versions of Martin. But the skilled actors also have great comic moments in the four-person play, directed by Paul J. Potenza.

Married couple Norm (Jordan Foote) and Corky (Jonelle M. Meyer) have another couple, Laura (Amy E. Gray) and Gerald (Jamie Jones), over to watch a meteor shower at their home in Ojai, Calif. Corky has never met them but is already jealous of Laura, grilling Norm for details about her.

Jordan Foote (Norm), Jonelle M. Meyer (Corky), Jamie Jones (Gerald) and Amy E. Gray (Laura) play two couples in Jobsite Theater's production of Steve Martin's absurdist comedy, "Meteor Shower." [Courtesy of Pritchard Photography]

Right away, it’s clear that Norm and Corky have been working on their marriage. They’re stifled and tragically regular. They subscribe to self-help psychobabble, checking in with each other when one says something wrong, which is often. They grasp hands and say, “I understand you probably don’t know that you hurt me.”

So it’s not hard for the insufferable Laura and Gerald to upset their fragile state. And that’s what they’ve come to do, inexplicably — ruin their marriage. Jones’ arrogant Gerald is a snake in the grass, creating little fissures between Norm and Corky. As Laura, Gray is seductive, larcenous and skillful at throwing shade. Foote plays Norm’s nervous reluctance to Laura’s advances and Gerald’s illicit suggestions just right.

Amy E. Gray (Laura) and Jordan Foote (Norm) in Jobsite's production of Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower." The play runs through Oct. 6. [Courtesy of Pritchard Photography]
Jamie Jones (Gerald) and Jordan Foote (Norm) in Jobsite's production of Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower." [Courtesy of Pritchard Photography]

While the other characters don’t have much depth, Corky is complex. Starting out as meek and insecure, her turn to ferocity is a welcome breakthrough. The role is clearly the most fun to play, and Meyer has a ball owning it. Her background story is the most absurd: She once resorted to cannibalism, leading to a disorder called exploding head syndrome. Meyer flexes her prowess at physical humor during these fits.

But just when think you know what’s coming, Martin’s surreal script bends time with scenes that get played over with different outcomes, role reversals and a major twist at the end. The meteor shower seems to create these turns, demonstrated by very effective atmospheric lighting designed by Jo Averill-Snell.

Jonelle M. Meyer (Corky) and Jamie Jones (Gerald) in Jobsite's production of Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower." [Courtesy of Pritchard Photography]

Witty dialogue is woven throughout the play, but the audience roared as the humor turned more physical and sexual. As Norm, Foote handles a sight gag that lit the crowd up and Meyer and Gray have a very funny scene on a couch involving celery. All of the actors have impeccable comic timing. At 75 minutes, the play bounced along with a barrage of laughter coming every few minutes. Many bellies and cheeks went home sore.

But beyond all the comedy, at the heart of Meteor Shower is an existential exploration of marriage. As to the twist, this line spoken twice in the play is a clue:

“If you don’t deal with your subconscious, it will deal with you.”


Meteor Shower runs through Oct. 6. Tickets for the Oct. 3-6 performances go on sale on Sept. 15. All other dates are on sale now. $29.50. Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. For showtimes, visit


  1. Randy Rainbow will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Courtesy of Varela Media
    Plus, St. Petersburg Opera’s ‘Merry Widow’ and more.
  2. The cast of American Stage's production of "Vietgone" includes Sami Ma as Tong and Jeff Kim as Quang. Courtesy of Joey Clay Studio
    An immigrant story with voice offers a fresh perspective.
  3. On Saturday, J.B. Smoove will perform at Ferguson Hall, part of Tampa's Straz Center. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    The comedian known for portraying Leon Black on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ likes to wing it. He hits the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall on Saturday.
  4. The cast performs 'On The Deck Of A Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492' in the Stage West production of 'Songs for a New World', which will be presented Oct. 17-27. Pictured at top, from left: Paris Seaver, Anthony Agnelli and Nicki Poulis. Standing in front: Jay Garcia. Timothy Rooney
    See ‘Songs for a New World’ and other shows in the north Suncoast
  5. Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    There’s Jeanne Robertson and an inventive Florida Orchestra collaboration, too.
  6. Emilee Dupre and Eric Davis star in Freefall Theatre's production of "The Turn of the Screw." Courtesy of Thee Photo Ninja
    A spooky, risk-filled performance will leave you with questions. | Review
  7. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will roll through Tampa as part of the Straz Center's 2019-20 Broadway series. JOAN MARCUS  |  Straz Center
    ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Roy Wood Jr., ‘Vietgone’ at American Stage, Piff the Magic Dragon and more.
  8. Music director Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra in the Star-Spangled Banner on Friday during the season-opening program at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Friday’s opening night portrayed Tampa as a melting pot, delivering diverse pieces pulled from around the world. | Concert review
  9. Bernadette Peters is pictured at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2015. CHARLES SYKES  |  AP
    Peters follows the likes of Sting and Seal playing with the orchestra.
  10. Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, shown performing "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Florida Orchestra at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater in January, will join the orchestra for its 2019-20 season-opening program this weekend. J.M. LENNON  |  Lennon Media
    Plus, SuicideGirls at Tampa Theatre and comedian Bryan Callen at Tampa Improv.