Is Peter Story, the star of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live!, an actor or a stand-up comedian? Audience members may be surprised to find that although Story uses his real name, he is in fact performing a scripted one-man play at New World Stages.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live! tells the story of a man, named Peter Story, whose life was changed when he saw author John Gray speak about his best-selling book by the same name. This life-altering book explains many of the differences between men and women in the hopes of making married couples throughout the world more in-sync with their feelings. Story intimately shares with the audience how the lessons from this book have affected his marriage. With perfectly-timed jokes, hilarious physical comedy and a laugh-out loud funny script—Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live! is raucous in its relatability.
Though the stage is set with a couch, end table and stool—none of it is necessary. Story needs no lights, no set and no soaring orchestrations to have everyone in the audience nodding in understanding, clapping in collusion and laughing along with his illuminating realizations about relationships. The two-hour show flies by with a broad range of topics—from vulnerability to trust to things done behind closed doors. As the story is told by a man, the show may focus a little more on the irrational ways women behave (“I have nothing to wear”) but it is all done in an extremely tasteful manner.
However, the author of the book is not to be upstaged by Story. Gray makes a cameo appearance in two video clips shown during the play and these videos are two of the most brilliant moments of the evening.
First, Gray explains how serotonin and dopamine levels differ in men and women and cause different reactions to stress. Gray simplifies a complex scientific explanation with the help of extremely clever animations.
Second, Gray tackles the “points system” used by women. A bouquet of roses equals one point to signify a nice action by their spouse. A single rose also equals one point. And women also award themselves points throughout the day, making it harder for a Martian to measure up.
The evening isn’t all jokes though. A touching moment comes when Story reflects on the instant he knew he would marry his partner. Gray’s videos are truly informative and educational. And while the audience can laugh at Story for his error in asking his wife, “Do you think maybe it’s that time of the month?,” the true value of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live! is in challenging men and women to think about their relationships in a smarter, more attentive way. Relationships will never be perfect but they should always be a priority.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live! is running at New World Stages (340 West 50th St. between 8th and 9th Aves.) in Manhattan through Nov. 29. Performances are at 8 p.m on Nov. 12, 14, 19, 21, 23, 25 and 28 and at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 and Nov. 29. Tickets are $79. To purchase tickets, call 212- 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com.