BWW Review: MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS, LIVE!; Couples Therapy As Stand-Up Comedy

In lieu of person-to-person communication, many straight couples and single straights who want to be in a couple have been sucking up relationship advice offered by John Gray in the 1992 pop-psychology best-seller that inspired the touring stage show, MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS, LIVE!

BWW Review: MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS, LIVE!; Couples Therapy As Stand-Up ComedyThough perhaps a bit simplistic in defining gender-based character traits, the book's basic theme that what causes most of the friction between the sexes is that they approach relationships from different worlds does have its merits.

But rather than a gender studies lecture, the show is presented as a two-act stand-up comedy routine, with actor Peter Story performing a text by Eric Coble based on Gray's book. Since Story brings up anecdotes involving his real-life wife, Megan, it's a little unclear as to how much is Story's truth and how much is Coble's adaptation of the source.

The topics are, over twenty years later, pretty predictable: How each gender sees the correlation between sex and love, the conflicting ways of communicating that provoke misunderstanding, problem solving vs. problem examination, why men can spend all day looking at sports on television and what a woman really means when she says she has nothing to wear.

Gray appears on film to introduce animated sections, such as one explaining the different scoring systems men and women use to determine how well they're being appreciated.

Never delving into deep issues, MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS, LIVE! Is enjoyably quaint, based on stereotypes that have been the driving force of American sitcoms for decades. But Story is a pretty convincing storyteller and quite a likeable one at that. His bouncy energy and a good-guy demeanor keeps the evening light and fun.

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From This Author Michael Dale

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