Handled as stand-up comedy, Story tells us that he did not at first accept Dr. Gray’s theories until he heard one of his lectures, and then he became a convert to the concept that men and women’s thinking and feeling is so different that they might as well be from separate planets. Story uses his own life as an endless source of comic anecdotes to illustrate Gray’s ideas: his own courtship, marriage and life with his wife Megan. Basically, the theory boils down to men needing trust and approval while women need attention and understanding. Initially, Story’s mirthful tales are of how he caused unnecessary conflicts with his wife by not following these rules. Eventually, he learns the hard way through trial and error, and ultimately improves his life and marriage.
Aside from Story’s first-person narrative, the show uses witty animation sequences as well as video clips of Dr. Grey explaining his theories mainly about men and women scoring points with the opposite sex differently: women count a gift of a two dozen roses as one point while men will give themselves a score of 24. Here we learn it is better for a man to do a great many little gestures for his female partner rather than one big one.
While the show is amusing throughout, it is somewhat dated as it assumes that a couple is in an old-fashioned traditional relationship. It does not take into consideration same-sex relationships or any other than that of a man and his wife. It doesn’t deal with non-traditional relationships like stay at-home dads or other situations that don’t follow the paradigm under consideration. Nevertheless, Story is an engaging narrator and raconteur and he holds up well using his own mistakes as a model of what not to do. As presented at New World Stages, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live! is most probably best for date night out for heterosexual couples or single straight men or women looking for advice on relationships to improve their love lives.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live! (through November 29, 2015)
New World Stages, 340 W. 50th Street, in Manhattan
For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit http://www.telecharge.com
Running time: two hours including one intermission
The famous self-help book arrives on the stage in a one-man show with engaging Los Angles raconteur Peter Story.