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THEATER: 'Defending the Caveman': A look at sexes

If you want to see the difference between men and women, said Cody Lyman, star of "Defending the Caveman," a show coming Saturday to Grand Forks, watch how they deal with a nearly empty bowl of chips.

"Defending the Caveman"
Cody Lyman will present "Defending the Caveman," a show about the differences between the sexes, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Grand Forks.

If you want to see the difference between men and women, said Cody Lyman, star of "Defending the Caveman," a show coming Saturday to Grand Forks, watch how they deal with a nearly empty bowl of chips.

Women will go to the kitchen together, restock the bowl and bond. Men will negotiate to see who has to get up and refill the bowl.

"I've seen it come down to a tape measure," Lyman said. "One man was 2 inches closer to the kitchen than the rest."

"Defending the Caveman" is an adult comedy that's been described as a funny and sweet exploration of the gender gap. It's a show that could give couples therapy a run for its money, with insights on feminism, masculine sensitivity and the erogenous zone, according to its press kit.

Written by comedian Rob Becker over three years during which he made an informal study of anthropology, prehistory, psychology, sociology and mythology, "Defending the Caveman" played for 2ยฝ years on Broadway, making it the longest-running solo play in Broadway's history. "Caveman" now is in its third year in Las Vegas and tours cities all over the U.S. and the world. It was supposed to play Grand Forks last spring but was postponed because of spring flooding.

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Lyman, who lives in Los Angeles, began his career on stage while attending Colorado State University, where he won acting awards and helped foster and co-produce CSU Theatre Sports. He lived in Chicago and Minneapolis, playing roles such as Bo in Bas Blue Theatre's "Bus Stop," working in commercials, voiceovers and feature films.

He's been performing in "Defending the Caveman" since 2004 and currently is taking classes with the famous Groundlings theater improv group.

"Caveman' is a one-man show, and improv is kind of like team sports," Lyman said. "I grew up playing team sports. You trust if you throw something out there that your teammates are going to make it funny. They'll make it work."

Lyman said he's looking forward to the North Dakota show, and not just because it's a chance for him to add to the list of states in which he's performed. "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" may be a glib and overworked premise at times, but "Caveman" is a show with a heart.

"When I first got involved, I had never seen the show," he said. "So, I thought it would be a little hokey. The longer I'm with it, the more I can appreciate how much work went into it to make it what it is."

"Caveman" is a good show to see with your significant other. Even better than that, Lyman said, is how men relate to it.

"That's another thing I really like about this show, is that guys like it," he said. "It ran for six months in Minneapolis, and I loved seeing the blue-collar guys come out and really like this show. The women are ticket buyers I think. You see (the men) out there with their arms folded across their chests, thinking 'I wish I'd stayed home and watched the game.' And by the end, they're hooting and hollering."

After a recent performance, Lyman said, he was approached by a female audience member who said: "Thanks for reminding me why I fell in love with my husband."

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"Defending The Caveman" is produced by Theater Mogul, a global theatrical production company with shows in more than 35 countries.

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to ptobin@gfherald.com .

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