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A CurtainUp Review
Men are from Mars
Story wasn't always a fan of Gray's book on gender differences. But after a serendipitous meeting with the famous author, he became a convert to his Martian/Venusian principles. He then decided to share reflections with theater audiences. The result premiered in Paris and has been touring the U.S. for the past two years.
The aptly-named Story's two-hour piece is as as he puts it: "a one-man Cirque du Soleil." He's a fine raconteur with a talent for physical comedy.
Story takes the audience on his first date with Meghan (his future wife), through their courtship, their marriage, and beyond. And to keep things lively, he punctuates the vignettes with movemen.t or dance routines, including a zesty spoof of Beyonce's "Single Ladies"
Besides Story's personal anecdotes, there are two videos with Gray giving advice about improving one's communication with the opposite sex. Each essentially aims at teaching you how to develop gender insight and "keep the magic alive in a relationship." While both are bound to increase your relationship acumen, the second video, which centers on "score keeping in relationships," is most likely to resonate. This mini-lecture begins pointing out the dangers of keeping score on your partner and then shows you how to turn this competitive game into a win-win situation. A cartoon in this video i deftly illustrates a before-and-after domestic scene with a couple mentally keeping score on each other and then, presto, replacing their score card mentality with more supportive and loving behaviors.
While much is entertaining here, the show seems somewhat dated. Story is continually drawing on material from Gray's book, published in 1992. Consequently his monologue becomes very tethered to the social mores of the 90s. He riffs at length about Martians (men) and Venusians (women) in traditional relationships. But he doesn't go any further than that. The target audience members are those who feel at home with the old-fashioned paradigm of marriage (and dating). Stil, Story has his heart in the right place—and his enthusiasm for Gray's principles is genuine.