It's been 15 years since the publication of John Gray's psychobabble best-seller, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Just when I thought this pop-psychology fad was behind us, Robert Dubac exhumes this dead horse and beats it once again in his sequel, The Male Intellect: The 2nd Coming.
Act I is essentially a rehash of his one-man show The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron. The premise is to ask, "What do women want?" But while he belabors the source of women's desires, he disingenuously makes it seem easy to know what all men want, which is food, sex, power and money. He also resurrects the old Mars/Venus diatribe: women are primarily emotional, because they are right-brain dominant, while men are left-brain dominant and logical.
Throughout the show, Dubac portrays various characters who represent different parts of his mind, such as a backward-thinking redneck and an overtly feminine "metrosexual." These personalities are flat caricatures which are unoriginal and not the least bit funny.
To top it off, Dubac sprinkles in a handful of sophomoric tricks. The lowlight is when he places cigarettes in his ears and moves them independently to "Dueling Banjos."
In Act II, he arrives at what he calls "the door of truth." How he gets there from witless one-liners about stereotypical male and female behavior, I'm not sure. According to Dubac, truth is somehow related to finding balance between the right and left sides of the brain, and thinking outside the box. And yet Act I was entirely about thinking inside the box according to gender.
Dubac also takes a stab at American politics, again often managing to be not only humorless but offensive as well. "Do we need gay people in the military?" he asks, and replies: "Absolutely. Because when we slip it to countries from behind -- let's use professionals."
In the second act, Dubac claims he's challenging his audience to take a different perspective, to question the media and social conditioning. But the only challenge I had was trying to follow his faulty logic.
The Male Intellect: The 2nd Coming continues through March 15. City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St. 412-431-2489 or www.CityTheatreCompany.org