Defending the Caveman

It’s hard to say when America’s love affair with the caveman began. The image of the affable brute hoisting a spear and frocked in animal furs has become so ubiquitous it’s practically our national mascot (move over bald eagle, Ugg is here to smash!). The running gag seems to be that cavemen are hopelessly misconstrued — they’re not the thickheaded Neanderthals that they appear to be. Instead, these stars of such brilliant TV shows as The Flintstones, It’s About Time, and the ill-fated GEICO spin-off Cavemen are intelligent, upstanding members of society, each just struggling to get by in a fast paced world. Get it? It’s a valuable life lesson! Yes, they’re hairy; but they’re just like us inside! Tee hee!

Yup, cavemen seem destined to control our entertainment for longer than they ever appeared on this planet. Case in point: Defending the Caveman, the longest running solo show in Broadway history (recorded history, that is). Now in its 14th year, Caveman also uses our Cro-Magnon ancestry as allegory, but in this case its aim is to explain the divide between the sexes. Its lessons boil down to two points: Men are the hunters, all action and results, while women are the gatherers, more emotional and reflective. Sure, that distinction might be old hat in 2008 A.D., but, hey, at least it’s not Encino Man. Defending the Caveman runs through August 3 at the Kravis Center (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $40. Visit
July 29-Aug. 3, 2008

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John Linn