Thanks to a friend, we found ourselves last night in a small building in Makati for a preview of the one-man play Defending the Caveman. I didn't know what to expect or what it was about in the first place. Turns out it's just Broadway's longest running one-man stand-up comedy show and that this will be the 5th time it will be staged here in the Philippines.
The preview was set in a dance studio, quite intimate with just a few rows of monoblock chairs all facing an all-black stage and no sound system was used. The play itself, however, will be staged at the RCBC Theater in Makati.
Informal and intimate setup at the preview.
Director Cathy Azanza-Dy giving a brief intro.
We began by gathering around a Macbook Air where an introductory clip was shown (this of course will be projected on screens during the show proper). Then we took our seats and the director, Cathy Azanza-Dy, gave a short introduction. She also explained that for this run they'll be foregoing all props and set pieces as an ode to the play's stand-up comedy origins (I later learned that the standard set includes a Flinstones-like faux stone armchair, TV, and fridge). The caveman, played by theater veteran Joel Trinidad, followed onstage with a non-working microphone. This was to be the setup when he takes the stage at the RCBC Theater, but with a fully functioning mic of course.
The play tackles the differences between men and women with wit and humor, presenting the audience with oh-so-familiar situations, especially when it comes to relationships. Originally written by Rob Becker, Defending the Caveman is a funny look into these differences, how evolution has played a huge part in shaping how men and women behave, how to better understand each other and perhaps bridge this gap between the two sexes.
Joel Trinidad as the Caveman.
The monologue started out slow that I was afraid this whole thing wouldn't be funny. I even thought Trinidad was a bit too rigid in his delivery, at least in the beginning. The show, however, soon found its footing and the audience warmed up, laughing, smiling, nudging each other and all that. I myself was laughing out loud. Yes, like LOL laughing out loud.
I have to give it to Trinidad for memorizing all those lines. It's an hour-long monologue for Pete's sake! But of course he's a funny guy and for the most part had really good comedic timing. It was a really tough act, no doubt.
I'm not sure if it was the script but the show was a little anti-climactic for me, which is ironic since it was all about sex towards the end. I mean, aren't sex jokes supposed to be really funny? Sadly my LOL moments were mostly confined to the middle part of the performance. Nevertheless, Defending the Caveman is funny and an enjoyable act that's worth your time. It wouldn't last this long if it weren't, would it?
Tough job to memorize all those lines. Even tougher is delivering those lines and make the audience laugh. So props to Joel Trinidad here.
Defending the Caveman opens on Father's Day weekend on June 13, 14 and 15, and will have another run the following weekend on June 20, 21 and 22 at the RCBC Theater (Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, 4th Floor RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave. cor. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City). Ticket prices range from Php 600 to Php 1,500.
For schedules and tickets, go to ticketworld.com.ph.