Rob Becker, star and author of the long running Broadway and touring hit one man show Defending the Caveman, coming to the Moore Theatre for 16 performances starting Mar. 31 is tongue tied when asked why his is the most successful one-man show in Broadway history. "I can't tell you why but the show seems to get a uniformly positive response wherever it plays" says Becker. The show is booked into 1999, "And we're looking at 2000" he grins.
With a one man show, you don't have the option of certain nights and matinees off like most Broadway performers, so Becker works hard to stay healthy. "I'm so happy that people bought tickets to the show when I see them, that no matter how I feel when I get to the theatre, when I see the audience I'm up for it. When I was on Broadway we played the How To Succeed . . . team in the Broadway softball league. I hit this grounder, and I plowed into Matthew Broderick on first base. We're both lying there, and I thought, wow, what if we're both hurt. Then I thought, yeah but he's got an understudy and I don't. So I got up, and so did he, luckily."
Becker's humorous view of the age old conflict between men and women has travelled well throughout the U.S., he recently took part in a casting session for a West End version, but so far they haven't found their caveman. Though he was succeeded on Broadway by Michael (The Commish) Chiklis, the right English actor is proving elusive. "It was sure interesting watching them" he muses. "I do a whole bit about chips and dips, and to them chips are french fries, and they don't know from dips, so it's a bit hard for them to understand. One fellow said, "We do have your American chips and dips here. We are progressing!" But we still haven't found the right actor yet."
When asked if he is anxious to parlay his stage success into a sit- com ala Roseanne Barr, he says with a wry smile, "I'm too much of a control freak. I'd only agree to do it if I had complete control, It took Roseanne several seasons and big ratings to get that, and I'd want it from the outset." But he has several one man shows in development including a Caveman sequel (Cave Dad), and a yen to do movies, so it seems unlikely this caveman will be headed for extinction anytime soon.
Defending The Caveman performs at the Moore Theatre, 1932 2nd Ave, downtown Seattle, Mar. 31 through Apr. 12. Show times are Tues.-Fri. at 8 PM, Sat. at 5 PM and 8 PM and Sun at 3 PM and 7 PM. For tickets ($24.50-$39.50) call (206) 292-ARTS for Ticketmaster, or visit any Ticketmaster outlet, or the Paramount Theatre Box office, Mon.-Fri. 10 AM to 6PM. --David-Edward Hughes