I love the theater. I love to laugh. On occasion I will love a man in spite of wanting to strangle him. So it only made sense for this one-woman show to go to see Robert Dubac’s one-man show “the male intellect: an oxymoron?” at the City Theatre. I went with my pal Cindy of My Brilliant Mistakes fame on opening night, prepared to have a fun time, and I wasn’t disappointed.
I’ve always suspected that there is an aggravating truth to my dismissive “it’s that y chromosome disorder” theory whenever a guy does or says something really dumb. (And, yes, Robert, I’ve been known to add an eye roll and tongue cluck while saying it.) But it seems that you of the male species do suffer from some genetic misprogramming — your very own Y2k crisis, if you will — that makes you think and operate differently than us females.
But, oh, how funny that difference can be…at least when you’re not experiencing it firsthand. (Note to you with the Y chromosome: the show does plenty of poking fun at women, too.)
The play centers around Bobby, a normal-but-clueless guy who has been dumped by his fiancee. Poor Bobby can’t quite figure out what went wrong, so he begins to consult the feminine right side of his brain. He also looks back on the advice offered by five influential men in his life — the retired colonel, a philosophical Frenchman, the daffy 120+ year-old fisherman, a fast-talking, fast-driving guy with passion, and the giggly Vinnie Barbarino type who struggles with a few challenges, including spelling. These five have coached Bobby over the years on all matters related to women and love, much to Bobby’s and every woman’s dismay. I enjoyed all the characters (one of my favorite pieces of advice: The Colonel tells Bobby to introduce himself as an asshole right up front, because then he’s covered for life), but it was the Frenchman, Jean-Michel, who had me crying because I was laughing so hard.
Actor Ben Evans was convincing as the hapless-but-likeable Bobby, as well as the five chauvinists. His facial expressions and the way he contorted his body to get into each character reminded me of a little of Jim Carrey. After the initial few minutes, he really got going, switching between characters with ease, and playing well to the audience in the intimate setting of the 100-seat Lester Hamburg Studio. Cindy and I weren’t sure if the play was designed to have the audience shout out answers or suggestions (this audience didn’t), but Ben carried it through and was fun to watch.
The play runs through early July in Pittsburgh. Robert Dubac is acting in the show (and coaching others to perform the role) around the country as well; you can check out performances on his web site here.
The Male Intellect doesn’t try to be P.C. It tells it like it is – with a little edge and a lot of laughs. That’s something I think both men and women will agree on.