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The Book of Moron

A relatively unknown performer’s observational stand up comedy routine is extended into a full-length theater piece with debatable results.

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Robert Dubac as he appears in “The Book of Moron”

Robert Dubac as he appears in “The Book of Moron”

Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly, Critic

“Who Are You,” recorded by The Who, starts off The Book of Moron. It’s a well-crafted 80-minute theater piece of observational stand up comedy written and performed by Robert Dubac.  The title is a pun on the musical, The Book of Mormon and is representative of Mr. Dubac’s comic sensibility.  Those who find him funny will have a great time at this show, and those who don’t, will have a tough time.

Mr. Dubac is an amiable, long gray-haired, athletic, middle-aged man with an assured, neutral delivery of his set up/punch line material.  The conceit here is that he is playing a character, “Robert,” as well as facets of his psyche that include, “His Inner Child,” “His Inner Moron, “ and “His Scruples.”

“What a great song!”  “Who am I?”  “What’s my password?”  “Where are my keys?” Dubac remarks as The Who, fades out.  The framework of the show is soon established. His character has had a brain injury and doesn’t remember much about who he is.  A hospital bracelet and a dog biscuit in his pocket provide some clues.

During this exploration, he jocularly lectures, all while occasionally standing in a small black wooden box, writing on a blackboard, and standing atop a small cube.  The excellent work of sound designer and technical consultant Douglas Mills and lighting consultant Robert Lilly, add a periodically theatrically jolting dimension to the proceedings.  There are blackouts, fadeouts, and music and sound effects.

Robert Dubac as he appears in “The Book of Moron”

Robert Dubac as he appears in “The Book of Moron”

Mild audience participation involves him asking questions and borrowing a smartphone from someone to Google items.  Topics breezily covered include CNN, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ikea, reality television, George W. Bush, gun control, immigration, NASCAR, teen sex, gay marriage, and chiropractors.

More memorable quips are, “Raj in tech support,” and “There are no stars on Dancing With The Stars.”  There are cool sleight of hand illusions with a ripped newspaper, and later the microphone stand becoming erotically suggestive. He also demonstrates expert harmonica playing.

His comedic style is in the mode of David Steinberg’s impish intellectualism.  The structural device of an amnesiac searching for his identity is a successful format.  As it would be with any such show, enjoyment of The Book of Moron would depend on how one feels about the performer.  Hilarity and tedium are subjective.

Robert Dubac is relatively unknown and it would be risky going to The Book of Moron without any familiarity with his work.  YouTube has clips of his routines, and those intrigued might be be enticed enough to attend this show as well as The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron.  That is the one-man show of his that plays in repertory with this one.

The Book of Moron playing in repertory with The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron (through April 26, 2015)

Urban Stages, 259 West 30th Street, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 212-868-4444 or visit http://www.urbanstages.org

Running time: 80 minutes with no intermission

 

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Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (595 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for Theaterscene.net.

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