Peter Story takes stereotypes to the next level in one-man comedy show



-courtesy of Magic Space Entertainment

Despite the indignant protests of those who refuse to be categorized, the fact of the matter is stereotypes are funny because they are true — well, mostly true. That said, it takes a skilled comedian to effectively use stereotypes as a catalyst for an entire two-hour comedy routine. In the case of the one-man comedy show “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” based on the bestselling book by John Gray, gender stereotypes generated plenty of laughs in Friday night’s show at the Jeanne Wagner Theatre thanks to an energetic performance by the star of the show, Peter Story.
I smugly told my date at the beginning of the show that, while other men may fall into categories, I did not. This boast was proven wrong 15 minutes into the show, as I was caught looking up the score of the Utah Jazz game just as Story was sharing an experience about being caught by his wife checking a basketball score while on a date at the opera. It was hard not to laugh at the irony of the moment.
While there were many male stereotypes from Story’s routine that didn’t describe me as a man, there were plenty that did, and judging from the many laughs and elbow-nudging going on in the audience I was far from alone in appreciating the gender roasting being delivered with nearly perfect comic timing by Story. Women were the target of just as many stereotypes as the men, and just when my date would finish elbowing me over a well-aimed shot by Story it would almost instantly be my turn to nudge her as Story skillfully delivered a routine that creatively meshed the many idiosyncrasies of men and women.
Story manages to connect with the audience by sharing personal experiences between him and his wife, some of which are true and some of which are fiction, though like any comic magician, the audience never quite knows which is which. In one particularly funny moment Story hilariously mimics his wife’s incredible multitasking skills of chatting nonstop on the phone while changing clothes, putting on makeup and still managing to boss him around. In a clever transition to intermission Story shared a recent experience about how he hasn’t spoken to his wife in 36 hours due to a minor disagreement and decides to call her and make up — the very man who is dispensing relationship advice on stage hasn’t spoken to his wife in nearly two days.
The evening was about strengthening relationships through the use of not only humor but actual tried and true advice from Gray’s bestselling book on the subject. Therein lies the true value of the show and where it separates itself from the average stand up comedy fare.
Story is still the star of the show as he ingeniously weaves personal narratives while showing off excellent comedic timing and exhibiting an incredible amount of physical humor that includes a few dance moves and impersonations of a German-speaking dolphin. Despite refusing to be stereotyped as a male I found myself laughing on more than a few occasions and, in doing so, helped reinforce the stereotype that a stereotype is funny because it’s true. In the case of “Men Are From Mars,” it most certainly is.
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