“Do I believe in heaven and hell or another parallel universe? If I parallel park in a parallel universe will I be double parking?” muses the affable performer Robert Dubac during his clever self-written comic solo show, The Book of Moron. Dressed in gray trousers, a black shirt and a black jacket, the seasoned Mr. Dubac holds forth for 80 minutes with his appealing persona that recalls Mort Sahl’s topicality, David Steinberg’s impishness and George Carlin’s profundity.
The Book of Moron was workshopped in 2015 and has been touring across the United States since 2016. It’s essentially a series of set pieces connected by the conceit of Dubac having lost his memory and exploring his existential self. The show was originally directed by the late Garry Shandling, and it shares an affinity with his observational comedic sensibility regarding everyday life. Mr. Shandling died in 2016 at the age of 66, and The Book of Moron serves as a fine reminder of him.
“Or depending on how you feel about what happened on January 6th, you are either extremely upset or you’re…Russian.” Though a scripted theater piece in existence for years, The Book of Moron contains numerous witty takes on current events such as the pandemic, Jeffrey Epstein and the U.S. political scene.
“Now, that’s an alcoholic!” smartly adlibbed Dubac at the performance under review when sometime after it began, a woman arrived late carrying two cocktails, causing a commotion while taking her seat in the middle of the first row. This got a big laugh from the audience, as did much of Dubac’s material. Dubac’s occasional skillful bantering with audience members adds a layer of ever-present spontaneity to the show.
Dubac is on a bare stage for a while. Eventually, there’s scenic designer Melissa Burkhardt Moore’s funny grand black and white panels of sheep on the theater’s back wall, along with a blackboard for Dubac to scribble on. Jacob Gilbert’s jolting lighting design and Brandon Bogle’s crashing sound design especially when rendering bits of iconic Who songs further contributes to the production’s accomplished theatricality.
Is there a difference between the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth? Is there a bigger picture? Is there a
point? Can I hold on to two opposing thoughts simultaneously?
For example, is “French Deodorant” an oxymoron?
The Book of Moron is a humorous, thoughtful and cheerful diversion, particularly as live theater hasn’t yet fully resumed in New York City.
The Book of Moron (through September 19, 2021)
SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street, in Manhattan
For tickets, visit http://www.robertdubac.com
Running time: 90 minutes without an intermission