Broadway in Chicago MEN ARE FROM MARS-WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS Review – John Gray’s Best-selling Book Turned to Stage

Amadeo Fusca performs in Men are From Mars-Women are from Venus Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

Men can get dressed in five minutes. Women stand in front of their closet thinking they don’t have anything to wear.

 Women can make pasta, talk on the phone, and look after the kids all at once. Men can stare at the pot until it boils.

 Sound familiar? If these relationship quirks have you rolling your eyes and saying that’s me and my partner alright, then Broadway in Chicago’s MEN ARE FROM MARS-WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS is your next date night show!

Stories of Married Life Will Have You Nudging Your Partner

MEN ARE FROM MARS-WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS is a one-man show with the actor telling various stories about his married life. These stories all contain the same theme - a breakdown in communication. Our story teller, also known as a “Martian” (because you know, he’s a guy and from Mars) tells us how the breakdown happens, mostly because the two opposite sexes don’t understand how the other perceives the situation.

Amadeo Fusca leads us through these different vignettes varying from taking his wife out to the opera, to remembering moving in together, and to their sex life in the bedroom. All of them are chock full of innuendos and impressions.  We are engaged by his quick pace.

Amadeo Fusca Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

Stereotypes A Bit Much

The original book by John Gray came out in 1992 where heterosexual relationships were the norm. A relationship between a man and a woman was the one to study and try to understand.

However, now that it’s 2017 we can’t help by wonder how relevant this then-revolutionary book still is today.

The book and the show place men and women in two opposite extremes - women are ruled by Venus - multi-taskers, need care and understanding; men are ruled by Mars - single mindset and need trust and seek approval.

Amadeo Fusca Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

For the most part, since the show is told by a man, a lot of his stories take on the “I’m the husband and my wife does things I don’t understand.” It’s offering advice to men to try and better understand women. It’s a bit one note throughout the entire show. Perhaps if the script had been updated to include more diverse stories or even try and seem less stereotypical, it might not have been met with some cringes. Luckily, it’s saved by leading man Fusca’s superb acting skills.

Amadeo Fusca Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

Amadeo Fusca Absolutely Phenomenal

A veteran of the Upright Citizen's Brigade, Fusca is no stranger to improv and stand-up comedy. He proves he’s got what it takes to work the crowd in this two-hour show.

Directed by Mindy Cooper, Fusca is absolutely hilarious as he jumps, climbs, pantomimes, and collapses on stage. His energy is incredible throughout the entire show.

His comedic timing is on point as well - holding pauses for just the right moments and working with the crowd, especially the front row, to engage with the audience.

What really was the cherry on top was when Fusca got to flex his improv muscles a few times during the performance. At one point, his fly was down (probably from his previous crawling on the floor stunt) and an audience member kindly points it out to him.

Instead of zipping up and moving along, Fusca makes it a bit and runs with it.

That’s the kind of relationship he builds with his audience - strong enough for them to let him know when he should XYZ (examine your zipper)! All in all a stellar performance.

Come for the History, Stay for the Laughs

MEN ARE FROM MARS-WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS has been around for decades.  If you didn’t have a chance to see the show when it first premiered or even read the original book, now is your chance.

Fusca will bring you to tears when he turns on his improv and stand-up comedy skills. And you might realize a thing or two about your own relationship and how to better communicate. If you take the show at face value and realize it’s material that’s been around for awhile, you’ll have a good time and  you might find some of the situations relatable. It might not be the most up to date material, but you might get in a few laughs here and there.

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED

Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.

When

Now through March 5th

Tuesday-Friday at 8:00pm
Saturdays at 4:00 and 8:00pm
Sundays at 2:00 and 6:00pm

Where

Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
175 E Chestnut St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Tickets

$68

Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com

Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.

Photos

Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

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