At the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto, this show explores complexities between man and woman
Defending The Caveman, currently playing at The Alumnae Theatre, is part stand-up comedy, part one man show, part love story, and part discussion on the ever hilarious and heartfelt differences between men and women.
When I sat down and took in the stage before the performance began, I was greeted by a scene that looked very much like a set out of the Flintstones. In addition, two couples flanked the stage and I was unsure of how this show was going to go.
The perfectly cast Andrew Chapman spends two hours not so much “defending the caveman” as explaining how modern interactions between men and women all stem from our hunter-gatherer roots. He is engaging, personable, hilarious, and suggestive but in a non-confrontational way that calls back to his experience as a television host and comedian.
The loose frame story for the show is that of “group therapy” where Chapman discusses stories of his wife and his past. At some points, he interacts with the couples on stage and the audience and uses his improv skills well, never missing a beat. Ultimately, Chapman gives us two hours of smirks, smiles, and laughs as he adeptly brings writer Rob Becker’s source material to life.
Whether it be discussions of an empty chip bowl, a shopping trip, cleaning the bathroom, and just “hanging out”, there was barely a moment of silence in the theatre. While Defending The Caveman is about the differences between men and women, it is also about how these differences – both historically and in modern times – complement each other. Though things might not always be copacetic, they are balanced.
Defending The Caveman began as a stand-up act by writer Becker and had its stage debut in San Francisco in 1991. It eventually found a home on Broadway in 1995, starting its run as the longest running solo show in Broadway history. From there it expanded to become an international hit in 45 countries.
I feel the dates are important to note because some of the material does feel dated to that decade and decades previous. There is little attention paid to relationships outside the “hetero-norm” of long ago. While I enjoyed the show, I did feel that there was something missing by just focusing on the one example of a relationship.
That being said, Defending The Caveman seemed to give everyone in the audience a warm and entertaining night away from the brisk temperatures outside. If you are looking for some insightful laughs from a talented performer, head out to The Alumnae for a night with a comedic “caveman.”
- Defending The Caveman is playing until February 26, 2016 at The Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley St.)
- Shows run Thursday to Saturday at 8pm
- Tickets range from $15 – $35, and can be purchased online or through the box office at (416) 858-8464
Photo of Andrew Chapman provided by the company.