DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN (Long Wharf Theater: 2010-2011 season)
By Susan Granger
Looking for laughter? There’s plenty to be found in this thoroughly engaging, delightfully entertaining monologue comedy exploring the difference between the sexes.
Comedian Rob Becker developed the insightful concept in 1987, delving into psychology, sociology and pre-history. Originally opening in San Francisco, he toured the country with it and performed two and a half years at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York, becoming the longest running solo play in Broadway history.
After 12 years, Becker has now turned the one-man show over to Arkansas-native, Chicago-honed actor Paul Perroni, whose likeable, easy-going, charming manner enchants the audience immediately. His gestures, mimicking the masculine personality are evocative, particularly in the segment about two men going fishing together, followed by a father and son sharing the fishing experience. Perroni’s rich, resonant vocal range is admirable, and his Second City ‘improv’ training is obvious in the way he genially banters with the more vocal audience members during the more raucous segments.
The spare stage is decorated with an all-important television set, chair and two wall hangings – one depicting a man with a bison and the second a goddess carving – along with a small statue derived from the Venus of Willendorf, dating back to 25,000 B.C.
An ideal ‘date night’ for people in relationships, DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN plays Wednesday through Sunday at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven through Aug. 22nd and there’s more ticket and show-time information at www.longwharf.org.