In adapting his best-selling book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus into a one-man Broadway show of the same title, author John Gray will create an entirely new species of stage show -- part monologue, part talk show, part improv.
The hybrid will be peformed Jan. 27-Feb. 2 at the Gershwin Theatre.
Variety described the show as "a mix of anecdotes, role-playing and, of course, advice."
Gray plans to augment each seminar-style performance with appearances by celebrity guest couples. Among those already booked are Linda Dano, of the soap opera "Another World"; USA "Up All Night" kitsch goddess Rhonda Shear, and Playbill On-Line columnist Peter Filichia.
Here is the list of currently-scheduled guests: Jan. 27 (opening night): Linda Dano and husband Frank Attardi of "Another World"; Victoria's Secret model Frederique (Vanderwal), columnist Cindy Adams and jokester husband, Joey; and the performer "Q-Tip" from "A Tribe Called Quest." (Author Faith Popcorn, previously announced, will not be appearing.)
Jan. 28: "Saturday Night Live" performer/writer A. Whitney Brown ("SNL" member Jim Breuer, previously announced for this night, is being rescheduled), "USA Live" hostess Bertrice Berry, Rhonda Shear, and Chicago monologist Robert Dubac (whose The Male Intellect -- An Oxymoron will be coming to Off-Broadway).
Jan. 29: Playbill On-Line columnist Peter Filichia and Linda Konner.
Jan. 31: (tentative) country star Suzy Boguss.
Feb. 1 (matinee): WBZ "The Buzz" FM, 105.1 morning crew.
Gray's book is about how men and women are raised differently, have different natures, and respond differently to the same situations. The subject matter of the book recalls another one-man show, Rob Becker's Defending the Caveman.
The 1992 non-fiction book sold 10 million copies. Gray debuted his monologue at Carnegie Hall in 1996.
"I'm a teacher, and I have a message and I deliver it in a very entertaining, at times, very dramatic, way," Gray told Newsday writer Patrick Pacheco. "For years, people have been saying to me, `You should do this onstage,'...but it never seemed possible to relocate to New York, uproot my family for an entire year to play on Broadway. Then my producers said, `It doesn't have to be for a year. It can be for a week. And so I said, `Okay, let's do it.'"
Gray continued, "People may look up to me as a role model, but I let them know that I'm not Mr. Romantic all the time, I'm not always available for intimate conversations. I grumble, I go to my cave. So I've painted a picture of what I think are steps most men can take -- because I've been able to make it quite easily, and I don't try to be any better than that."
Publicist David Ellner, of the Susan Blond office, said the show will probably tour after its New York engagement, though no dates have been announced. Variety reported that the show will tour the U.S. throughout the spring, stopping at Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheatre Feb. 14.
During the hiatus between the closing of Show Boat in January and the beginning of previews for Candide in April, the Nederlander Organization has booked Broadway's biggest theatre, the Gershwin, with this, its smallest show.
Men Are From Mars will give Broadway performances 7:30 PM Jan. 27-Feb. 1, with matinees Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 at 2 PM, and Feb. 2 at 3 PM. Tickets cost $20-$55.
Dan Handley, of the Gershwin Theatre box office, said tickets are on sale by phone only through TicketMaster (212) 307-4100 or (800) 755 4000.