Austin Shakespeare's staging of Shaw's Man and Superman at the Rollins Theatre has the pleasures of a long agreeable evening with toffee and cigars. No game of whist or bridge, for the contest here is between Man and Woman, or, to wax a bit more Shavian, between Man the Romantic and Intellectual on one hand and Woman the Life Force on the other.
Man doesn't stand a chance, of course.
You may well ponder -- where's the Superman? Shaw's play took the stage in 1903, less than ten years after the first translation into English of Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra. That book presented the notion of the Übermensch, the human being who transcends conventional morality and the deceptive controls imposed by tradition and society. Treating the concept in this play, GBS disdained the awkward term "Beyond-Man" used in the first translation and coined the term "Superman." With his characteristic cheerful, waspish verbosity Shaw thoroughly explored this relatively new notion and used it as a club to wallop the conventions of English bourgeois society.