Whether you call it a one-man show or a six-man show with one man playing six parts, the first production of Act II Playhouse’s current season is a comic smash. THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON?, written and performed by Robert Dubac, utilizes a simple but imaginative concept. Dubac portrays a confused man whose fiancée abruptly left him two weeks ago. She’s supposed to call at any minute, and he doesn’t know what to say to win her back. Over the next hour and a half, the audience observes the humorous inner struggles of Dubac’s mind as he attempts to determine the age-old question of “what women want”.
To amass the wisdom to answer such a deep inquiry, Dubac channels the advice of five men from his past, each of whom claim to know “the secret”. These engaging characters (all played by Dubac) include the straight-shooting colonel who believes women need only honesty, the suave Frenchman who contends communication in a sexy accent is key, and a 123-year-old fisherman who states women just want to laugh.
And laugh you will. Dubac has been successfully performing this show across the nation for well over a decade. He easily settles into his role and effortlessly slides into each character with just a slight body movement and minor lighting and costume change. His impeccable comic timing and his varied mannerisms entertain throughout. Much of the production mirrors a stand-up piece, with Dubac speaking directly to the audience. Jabs are pitted against both sexes, and at times the audience’s laughter is divided along gender lines. True, most of the conventions Dubac references are familiar stereotypes that may not be universal, but that doesn’t make them any less amusing.
The stage ingeniously is separated into two halves, each half representing a side of Dubac’s brain. Stage left, his “male side”, is cluttered with cases of beer, scattered papers, and general disorder. Stage right, his “female side”, by contrast, starts out as only a blank chalkboard. Through the advice of his five mentors and with a little help from his “feminine side”, Dubac manages to fill the chalkboard with various pieces of the puzzle. And, to my surprise, he ultimately does answer the $64,000 question, which I certainly won’t spoil here.
THE MALE INTELLECT delivers 90 minutes of nonstop laughs focused around a real life quandary. For all its humor, it also opens the door for post-show debate and discussion. This is not one to miss.
THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON?
Written and Performed by Robert Dubac
July 6-31, 2011
Act II Playhouse
56 E. Butler Avenue
Ambler, PA 19002