“If you want to live with someone who is truly happy all the time, do not live with a woman.” Such is the sage marriage advice Amadeo Fusca dispenses in his return to Newark’s NJPAC this weekend (Feb. 17 and 18) for four performances of ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus—Live!’ at Victoria Theater.

In an exclusive interview held in his dressing room after the Saturday matinee, he told Blasting News that the show has taken him to some 50 cities. “Two years ago I had 18 days rehearsal and then I did my first performances right here at NJPAC on Valentine Day’s weekend. Now I’ve done the show more than 240 times.” The show has taken him to all corners of the country.

“I’ve been to Florida six times, Texas seven times.”

Wait, Mars? Venus?

Author John Gray made a mint from a series of books on the Mars/Venus theme, offering relationship advice. The first, titled ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,’ sold 50 million copies and was translated into 50 languages. That was in the 1970s and ’80s, so Gray’s advice now reads a bit dated. But the show effectively updates the books.

Amadeo Fusca uses his own name as the show’s only character, married to Sarah. They have at least one child, five-year-old Dominick, and they all live together in Brooklyn five or six years into the marriage. The actor’s hyperkinetic presence and physical comedy, complete with split-second changes between his persona and Sarah’s, are alternately hilarious and sentimental.

Born to act

“I had the best parents for this.

My brothers and I grew up watching movies all the time.” Amadeo Fusca is the youngest of three boys. “We watched the Academy Awards together. It was what the family did. When I showed an interest in acting, my parents always pushed me along. It was never ‘Why are you doing this?’ but, rather, ‘Keep doing this; it’s so cool.’”

Role models

Whom does Amadeo Fusca admire? He has his eye on fellow standup comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, whose physical stage activity he finds intriguing. What about stage or screen stars? According to him, “Mark Rylance is, like, the greatest actor of all times. He was phenomenal in ‘Jerusalem,’ as Rooster.”

The 2009 Jez Butterworth play won Rylance Great Britain’s 2010 Laurence Olivier Award and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. “I also admire Sterling K. Brown,” who won this year’s Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series.

Comedy show producer

Wearing his third hat as standup comedian/actor/producer, Amadeo Fusca curates The Comedy Blender, a monthly program at Manhattan’s Triad Theater that gives him and “some of top talent in comedy” the chance to showcase their talent in a variety show format.

With all the distractions that go with producing, Fusca’s says of his stage appearances in the show, “I’m always the worst part of that show.” That’s also intended to suggest the level of talent on display.

Back to Mars

“The format of Mars/Venus is more like scripted improv,” says Amadeo Fusca. He brandishes a good singing voice [VIDEO], which he puts to use semi-seriously throughout. (It would be a pleasure to catch him in a musical.) By the show of hands, he discovers audience demographics: “How many of you have been married five years?” Ten to 20 years? Twenty to 30? “How do you still breathe?” he quips.

“I enjoy the audience interaction.” The audience obviously enjoys it too. Women in the audience are the most raucous at laughter time, and they were the first on their feet to reward the actor with a standing ovation. Men tend to play it cooler, but exit chatter betrays equal enjoyment by both genders.

Up next?

After Sunday’s final two NJPAC performances, Amadeo Fusca takes the show to Delray Beach, Florida. Up ahead, the show will run six weeks in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the next Comedy Blender presentation is Nov. 9. Something says he will continue honing both shows for quite some time.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus—Live!’: Just two more performances at Victoria Theater, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey.