Theatre Review: Defending the Caveman

Defending the Caveman by comic Rob Becker has the distinction of being the longest running one-man show on Broadway — and now it’s here at Theatre on the Square for an open-ended run.
Kevin Burke is the Caveman telling the Indy audience the reason men and women are different — it goes back to caveperson days, when men evolved to hunt, and women gathered. To hunt successfully, men had to develop single-focus minds, while the ladies developed a more all-encompassing “gathering” state of mind. This has led to difficulties in understanding the opposite sex.
Burke does a fine job outlining the basic issues that separate the sexes and the regular misunderstandings between husband and wife. While women expect cooperation to get what they want, men negotiate to get what they desire —delightfully illustrated by a scene at a party when the chip bowl gets low.
The script also explores the male need to protect and defend, regardless of the individual’s ability to fend off a foe. Burke notes that men don’t necessarily think the whole plan through, especially when pursuing an aggressive driver.
The monologue is delivered on a set reminiscent of the Flinstone’s living room, with a little bit of real caveman art. Replicas of the Venus of Willendorf, the carving of the Great Goddess of Laussel, and artwork from the caves of Lascaux, France complete the stage.
Much of the ground covered by Defending the Caveman has been the subject of books like Women are From Venus, Men are From Mars. Nevertheless, Burke makes a charming caveman who is blessed with self-awareness and the ability to convey his appreciation for both the hunters and gatherers without portraying men as complete idiots and women as total airheads.
Because of some adult language, the show is not suitable for youngsters. Catch Defending the Caveman at TOTS through March. Tickets are $30; visit or call 685-8687 for days and times. TOTS is located at 627 Mass Ave. in the heart of the Mass Ave. Cultural District.