Defending the Caveman, the longest running one man show in the history of Broadway, has been seen in over 30 countries and translated to over 15 languages. After all that success, the Las Vegas version has become just as popular as the original.
Writer Rob Becker dreamed up the caveman relationship philosophy in 1995. The hilarious standup vet Kevin Burke performs the sharply written one-man piece, adding his own twists and personal touches to the show, now playing the Las Vegas Strip at The D.
The stage looks like the living room of The Flintstones, complete with a stone sofa. Kevin Burke takes his seat here and settles in for his monologue, which comes off more as a one-on-one chat. It’s a facts of life conversation he carries on with his audience.
One of the lessons our lead caveman shares is the concept of hunters vs. gatherers, with men taking on the collective mentality of the hunters while women take on the roles of the gatherers alert to everything in their environments. The illustration proceeds from there, based on Becker’s premise that our gender-based instincts stem from prehistoric behaviors from the dinosaur days— it’s even written into our genetic code.
It may sound like a neanderthal attitude of severe gender bias, but audience members, particularly women, find themselves nodding, agreeing, and laughing more often than not.
Variety Magazine called the production “hysterically funny,” while The Boston Globe said that “Caveman is so perceptive, so witty, so sweetly understanding, you can’t help feeling exhilarated.” Part of the show’s success in Las Vegas is due to Burke’s comedic style, which was honed to a fine point at Second City and the Chicago Comedy Festival, allowing him to bring his own unique, only in Vegas spin to the global phenomenon.