Two decades ago, Robert Dubac was in a lot of romantic relationships, illicit and not.
That was in the soap opera “Loving,” where his lead character drummed up drama in all the usual ways that human beings go about dismantling their lives. It was here that he started to wonder why people, on-screen and off, struggle so greatly with dysfunctional relationships.
“It really is just immaturity,” said the Telluride-based actor and comedian. “And regrettably, the media embraces that. It can make money on your immaturity. That’s why they subject women to be ornaments in order to sell cars or beer. Guys subject to be lugheads. It’s so obvious that nobody sees it.”
“The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?” is the result of that pontification. He’ll bring the one-man show to Studio Bee at the Pikes Peak Center on Thursday and Friday.
Bobby, the show’s protagonist, recently was dumped by his fiancee and has no clue why. He wonders, “What do women want?” Five of his friends, all portrayed by Dubac, are happy to offer advice, including The Colonel, a battle-crippled vet who preaches honesty at all costs; Jean-Michel, a smooth French guy; and Fast Eddie, who sounds like Jack Nicholson and thinks passion is the answer to everything.
Dubac retired the show after performing it for years. But after Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement started making headlines, he decided the time was right to fire it back up.
“The show’s about a guy who has to grow up and be mature,” said Dubac. “For the last couple of decades, we’ve rewarded adolescence. We have a whole bunch of men who are grown boys. The show was always about finding some maturity. I just hoped we wouldn’t be going backwards. I thought we’d be more successful at this point.”
The stage is set as the inside of Bobby’s brain: The left side is filled with old furniture and greasy pizza boxes; the right side is empty. It’s a metaphor for how Bobby never ventures into the feminine side of his brain to do any thinking. When he finally does, a female voice (Dubac’s wife) helps him examine the male side of his brain.
“That’s every man’s female side, but they don’t like to listen to it because they think it makes them gay or something ridiculous,” said Dubac.
It’s all in fun, and Dubac pokes fun at both genders throughout the 90-minute show. But there is the underlying hope he can encourage the evolution of menfolk through the gentle subtlety of humor.
“The whole reason for the ‘Make America Great Again’ thing is people want to go backwards and not forward. They’re afraid of the future. Men are afraid they’re going to lose their masculinity if they give up guns or give women equal say so, but they wind up looking more and more childish. That’s the great thing about humor. You can preach to people as long as they’re laughing.”