Male Intellect: The 2nd Coming

[The following review appeared in the Denver Post on August 9th.]

Fifteen years ago, following John Gray's pop-psychology bestseller, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, American culture was atwitter over the effects of hormones on the brain and how gender biology defined masculine and feminine behavior.

Shortly thereafter, theatre pieces—such as Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Rob Becker's Defending the Caveman, and Robert Dubac's The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron, to mention three hits—began to explore the topic.

Following up on his success, Dubac returns to the fray with Male Intellect: The 2nd Coming, now running at the Curious Theatre Company. For those of you who didn't see the original version, Dubac revisits his initial premises in Act I of his latest effort, asking "What do women want?"

Robert Dubac as Robert
Robert Dubac as "Robert"
In the first show, his motivation for asking this question is to patch up things with his girl friend, but in the sequel he addresses the audience's experience directly. Most of the material appears new, save for the clever blackboard routine that is carried-over along with certain key concepts. Dubac is a gifted writer and comic, zinging both sexes as he covers the gamut of male-female relations, detailing predictable misunderstandings that all of us can recognize.

On opening night, however, the combination of sound system, acoustics, and Dubac's rapid-fire delivery and pronounced dialects prevented a significant number of audience members from being able to decipher major portions of his monologue. This theatre space has never taken well to amplification and, given its cozy environs, has no need for it.

Robert Dubac as The Colonel
Robert Dubac as "The Colonel"
Using the same colorful characters that populated his maiden voyage, Dubac delivers a multifaceted perspective of the male animal, including various chauvinistic guises as well as the feminine side, and the voice of reason that "... can only be heard when someone has found balance."

When this occurs, the door of truth opens and, in the second act, we see how this initiation has changed Dubac's focus from self to society and the illusions that stand in the way of our collective truth, namely religion, politics, and the media.

Robert Dubac as Phillip Pomeroy
Robert Dubac as "Phillip Pomeroy"
Mixing the stinging approach of Lennie Bruce and Mort Sahl with the vocabulary of George Orwell and Ivan Pavlov, Dubac deconstructs how our belief systems are programmed for passive consumerism by a daily onslaught of propaganda. Luckily, he notes, we still have the theatre where we can talk about these things.

It's always telling how popular culture repackages creative breakthroughs for the masses. Like Gray's book, Dubac's analysis, funny as it is, fails to resolve masculine and feminine principles because it glosses over what the noted psychotheorist, Carl Jung, discovered nearly a century ago: the psychological integration of our male and female aspects is a spiritual transformation, not an intellectual one.

That Dubac's progress had led him to open the door of truth is commendable, but there are veils that remain between his insights into the machinations of the New World Order and the ultimate frontier that harbors the unifying principles of the universe.

Curious Theatre Company's presentation of Robert Dubac's Male Intellect: The 2nd Coming runs through August 25th. 303-623-0524.

Bob Bows


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