“Defending the Caveman” – Phoenix Theatre

This review aired on KBAQ November 5, 2012


Phoenix Theatre
Phoenix, AZ

“Defending the Cavemen,” Phoenix Theatre’s latest production, is a crude, stand-up solo comedy routine appropriate for those who enjoy the crass jokes that have been heard a million times before.  “Defending the Caveman” is certainly not an evening of true comedic theater.  The person who executed it opening night, Paul Perroni, is one of two actors who alternate at the various performances.

As Perroni paced back and forth randomly and boringly on the scantily set stage, it was obvious that “Defending the Caveman” had no direction, something the program failed to credit.  Perroni is certainly not acting; he’s just spouting tired jokes as he tries, without success, to bring life to the now 21-year-old Rob Becker script that includes nothing fresh and has just a few token and crudely added mentions of contemporary lifestyles.  Most of it is filled with old jokes about the differences between men and women with tasteless and expected sexual implications rattling on repetitiously throughout the show.

Men are useless slobs and women are intellectual shoppers who debate as they babble on about the slovenly guys.  Talk about ridiculous clichés.  Predictable and dull, the piece drags on for two boring hours.  You’ll spend the entire performance trying to guess what the performer will spew next and it won’t be any challenge to figure it out.  Very few people seemed to enjoy it opening night as most in the small audience, including this critic, were bored senselessly.  After the intermission, many didn’t return.  It’s that kind of awful show.

Phoenix Theatre imported this mediocre staging produced by New York’s Theater Mogul and it would be more appropriately presented at a comedy club where booze flows freely so drunk audiences might laugh a bit.  It’s a cheap, easy show to mount but why a reputable theater like Phoenix Theatre would include it on a season that features major Broadway musicals is most confusing.  “Defending the Caveman” is an insult to theatergoers.

So, “Defending the Caveman” isn’t particularly funny because it’s filled with tired, predictable, and expected jokes.  It’s not for true theatergoers looking for a real laugh.  “Defending the Caveman” drags on through November 25.  For tickets, call the Phoenix Theatre box office at 602-254-2151 or order tickets online at www.phoenixtheatre.com.

Grade: F