By Mark Kennedy / The Associated Press
NEW YORK—A stage adaptation of one of the most popular self-help books in the world is coming to a Manhattan theater, starring a Martian.
Performer Peter Story will star in a one-man show adapted from John Gray’s book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus at the off-Broadway complex New World Stages this fall.
Gray’s megaselling hit about how couples can bridge the interplanetary gulch between the sexes became one of the biggest best-sellers in the country. Playwright Eric Coble, who wrote the Broadway play The Velocity of Autumn, has adapted it for the stage. Story has added personal elements from his life to the show.
“This is not a seminar. This is not a conference. This is not a Dr. Phil show where I’m up there to give advice. This is a comedy show. This is going to feel very much like a standup comedy show,” Story said.
“It’s a great date-night show, whether you’ve just started dating or you’ve been in a relationship for a long time. Because even if you’re doing it right, this is a great night to be reminded of the things that you’re doing, keep it right and get those spices flowing.”
The two-act, two-hour-long comedy Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus Live! has had over 200 performances in more than 80 cities in 38 states since 2013. It starts performances on October 22 and opens on November 7 at New World Stages. The creative team promises it will be PG-13.
“The show is at its prime, and the only thing to do at that point is to go to New York City,” said Story, who has appeared on television shows, such as CSI, Without a Trace and Ugly Betty. “We couldn’t be more excited.”
Producer Paul Emery discovered the play in a theater just outside Holland in Amsterdam, performed in Dutch. Emery needed an interpreter but “it was still hysterical as hell,” he said. He got the rights to bring it to the United States and added humorous video animation. Mindy Cooper directs. Has performing the show helped navigate his own life? Story, who is married to performer Megan O’Neil, says yes.
“If I’m not doing at home what I’m speaking out on the road, let me tell you,” he said, laughing. “My wife has no problems calling me on the mat for it. Sometime repeating my own material to me.”