Story: Bobby is confused. His girlfriend Julie has left him and he has no clue as to why. If he thinks back to what he has said and done, perhaps there’s a reason or two along the way. But Bobby is a guy and he isn’t used to tuning into his sensitive side.
So, he enlists the aid of several mentors who have their own thoughts and opinions about the differences between men and women. There’s the tell-it-like-it-is Colonel who pulls no punches when he informs Bobby what’s at stake in the ongoing battle of the sexes. At the other end of the spectrum is wise French lover Jean-Michel, who carefully drags on a cigarette while sharing his philosophy about the ‘fairer sex’ with his dutiful student.
Fast Eddie is all about seizing the moment and letting the lady know she’s in for a good time, while ancient Mr. Linger reflects upon his 123 years while he fishes for the perfect woman -- a mermaid. She’s out there somewhere, he says, and as long as he’s fishing for her he’s still living. And then there’s Ronnie Cabrezi, whose reckless advice is certain to be more trouble than help.
Fortunately for Bobby, he is regularly interrupted in his confused state by the female Voice of Emotion emanating from the right side of his brain, which is clean as a whistle as opposed to the cluttered left side, where his male buddies hang out. This is opposite what it should be, Bobby surmises. But can Bobby figure out what it takes to win back Julie?
Highlights: Robert Dubac, whose Book of Moron kept audiences in stitches when he performed that show at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza in December, has returned with a vengeance with this silly, smart and satirical look at the differences between men and women.
Other Info: Like Book of Moron, The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? is a one-man show written and performed by Dubac. In one act and 90 minutes he sets up his very clever premise and keeps his audience entertained and informed at a dizzying pace throughout.
Having said that, this show might work better at about 75 minutes, as it often trudges over familiar territory traversed earlier in the monologue. There’s no disputing, however, Dubac’s considerable talent. He’s very smart and he sets up his premise in stellar fashion, using both sides of a blackboard at stage right where he ingeniously draws together myriad thoughts and observations that ultimately reach one bright conclusion.
Dubac is an expert story-teller and also an accomplished stand-up comedian, and both elements come into play in The Male Intellect. His set design is an amusing mishmash of assorted junk at stage left, representing the left, ‘male’ side of the brain, cluttered with a coat rack, knickknacks of all sorts and a refrigerator stocked with beer, one of which is always open for Bobby to swizzle.
Bobby informs the audience that men are focused on just a few basics, primarily sex and booze. They’re not into this sensitive, feely stuff, so his Female Voice needs to constantly remind him that there are certain buzz words that resonate with women.
Those are ‘sense of humor,’ ‘communicate,’ ‘honesty,’ ‘passion’ and ‘sensitive.’ Oh, and there’s one word most important of all, he learns. It also starts with an ‘s’ and it’s the name of Julie’s cat. If only he could remember what that word is.
Dubac moves effortlessly between Bobby and the other characters, quickly donning a garment or twitching a shoulder to indicate the arrival of the Colonel or Jean-Michel or Mr. Linger, etc. He does it all smoothly and consistently. On opening night he worked the name of a woman in the front row into several bits of the routine along the way to the amusement of everyone.
His observations wisely point out the foibles of men and the strengths of their counterparts, although he may stumble a bit here and there, for all I know. What’s certain is that, like Book of Moron, Dubac proves with The Male Intellect that he’s a very funny guy, quite an intelligent thinker and a fine comic artist constantly honing his craft.
There’s nothing oxymoronic about that.
Play: The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?
Company: Emery Entertainment/Jack Lane
Venue: The Playhouse at Westport Plaza
Dates: March 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26
Tickets: $50; contact metrotix.com or 534-1111; discounts available
Rating: A 4 on a scale of 1-to-5.
Photos courtesy of Playhouse at Westport Plaza