Nothing has changed in male-female relationships since Rob Becker wrote and first performed Defending the Caveman in 1991 in San Francisco. His comedic take on how men (hunters) and women (gatherers) relate to each other is still relevant; and to this date, the universally appealing one-man show has been performed in more than 40 countries and in more than 18 languages. It's the longest running solo show in the history of Broadway.
Understanding the opposite sex has been a perplexing task since the beginning of time. In Lerner and Lowe’s 1960 play Camelot, King Arthur muses that the way a man should handle a woman is “to love her, simply love her.”
Could it be that easy?
Not according to Cody Lyman, one of more than 50 cavemen around the world defending their status on stage and explaining what it means to be male.
“When I was a boy, it all made sense,” he says on stage. “It got more complicated when I got older. In the 80s, I learned that women liked sensitive guys.”
With a deep, manly voice, graphic facial expressions and wild hand gestures, Lyman is comfortable taking the audience on a hilarious ride through the gender gap. He's been doing it for nine years. In a relaxed, non-preachy style, he’s still pondering: Are men really the assholes that women claim they are?
Newlywed Lyman often uses his wife a.k.a. Myriah to illustrate his points, but he does so in a loving, understanding way, celebrating the differences rather than disparaging them.
Playwright Becker spent three years researching psychology, sociology and prehistoric times while writing the insightful script. The result is a comedy that resonates with everyone in the audience, in one way or another. You will laugh, because inevitably something he says will hit home with you or someone with whom you’ve had a relationship.
Lyman is the caveman through October 13. Then Kevin Burke steps into the role for the rest of the run through October 27. Burke has performed Caveman nearly 4,000 times, breaking the Las Vegas record for the longest running Broadway show in the town’s history.
Showtimes at the Garner Galleria Theatre at the Denver Center for Performing Arts are Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. For tickets, call 303-893-4100 or visit www.denvercenter.org.