Review: ‘The Male Intellect: an Oxymoron’

Though billed as a one-man show, Robert Dubac's highly entertaining perusal of the male psyche could more accurately be described as a lecture with gobs of visual aids. Interacting quite freely with the audience, Dubac's alter ego Bobby confronts the eternal male question -- What do women want?

Though billed as a one-man show, Robert Dubac’s highly entertaining perusal of the male psyche could more accurately be described as a lecture with gobs of visual aids. Interacting quite freely with the audience, Dubac’s alter ego Bobby confronts the eternal male question — What do women want? Dubac does not delve too deeply into the psychological or philosophical depths of such a loaded subject but does provide humorous, indeed occasionally hilarious, insights into the coming-of-age struggles of an average guy.

Bobby begins his journey of discovery two weeks after he has been dumped by his fiancee. Anxiously waiting by the phone for her expected call, Bobby begins to examine the reasons for the breakup, which still has him baffled. It seems she concluded that his refusal to allow her cat to sleep on their bed meant he didn’t want to sleep with her.

Attempting to come to terms with this feminine logic, Bobby begins to examine how men and women are different.

“Honesty is the most important thing to a woman,” he concludes, “unless you’re telling the truth about her.”

He is confounded by a woman’s selective memory that can recall what he said three years earlier when he can’t even remember if he was telling the truth at the time. Bobby also rattles off a clever list of terms that are defined differently by men and women: “To a woman, efficiency is a small apartment; to a man it’s drinking beer and using the urinal at the same time.”

Once he has established his theme, Dubac cleverly expands his premise by utilizing the whole stage to represent the inside of his own head. He actively moves between the male, or left side, of his brain (depicted as a slovenly mess of discarded clothes, broken furniture and a filing cabinet filled with booze) and the right, or feminine side, consisting primarily of a large blackboard that occasionally talks back to him (voiced by Dubac’s real-life spouse, Lauren Sinclair).

Dubac displays his “acting” chops when he intermittently segues into the persona of one of Bobby’s five chauvinist friends, each offering his own unique insight into the feminine mystique. The Colonel is a battle-crippled vet who advocates blunt honesty. Jean-Michel is a language-twisting aesthete who nevertheless preaches the virtues of communication even if she can’t understand you. Fast Eddie (sounding like a young Jack Nicholson) labels all his conquests as DPs (“Doormat Phenomenons”) and has a one-word answer to all of Bobby’s concerns: “Passion.” Old Linger is a 123-year-old eternal bachelor who proclaims the only way to survive in world of women is with a sense of humor.

Dubac is quite effective if a bit self-indulgent with his characterizations. One tedious outing involves Ronnie Cabrezzi, a Stallone clone who drones on way too long about his own problems with his foul-mouthed girlfriend. However, he does offer Bobby some sage advice about women, declaring that what they want most of all is security.

The end result of Dubac’s discourse is an evening of gentle male/female gender bashing that is as harmless as it is amusing. As he says from the stage, there are hundreds of bestselling books that cover the same territory he does — but his show is faster.

The Male Intellect: an Oxymoron

Wilshire Theater; 1,200 seats; $45 top

Production

A Franzblau Media & Moment-To-Moment Prods. presentation of a play in one act, written and performed by Robert Dubac; executive producer, William I. Franzblau.

Creative

Sets and lights, Anthony Angelini; sound, David Crawford. Opened, reviewed Sep. 25, 2002; closes Oct. 6. Running time: 90 MIN.

Cast

Bobby - Robert Dubac Feminine Voice - Lauren Sinclair
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