"Defending the Caveman" at Long Wharf and "the underpants" at Playhouse on the Green
by June September April
The difference between these two productions is like the masks of comedy and tragedy, only the Playhouse on the Green was not intended (I'm sure) to be a tragedy.
Let's start with the good news. Comedian Rob Becker's one-man show, "Defending the Caveman" is timeless and universal, just as the book "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus." Deftly and deliciously blatantly, Michael van Osch lambasts the male of the species, to the delight and appreciation of both sexes. Long Wharf's latest production is an evening well-$pent and an escape from the insanity of the world, into the insanity of understanding (or generally lack thereof) between men and women.
The effort at humor by playwright Steve Martin is another story. I can imagine him laughing as he wrote this play, but somehow the funny-side hardly seemed to make it over the stage into the audience,....save for a few exchanges. What saves this production (if one uses that word loosely) are three of the actors. Lucy Babbitt, as the overbearing and interfering neighbor, Gertrude Deuter, John Pyron as the old man Klinglehoff, and Mark Graham (in real life Marketing Director) as the beloved King. The greatest strength in "The Underpants" is the set, designed by Brandy Devoid and her team, that built a set that could stand all that clomping up the stairs and slamming of doors.