Theater Review: THE BOOK OF MORON (Tour)

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by Lawrence Bommer on February 26, 2020

in Theater-Chicago,Tours

STAND-UP MEETS SELF-HELP

It’s a singular solo show: Creator of The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron, satirist Robert Dubac now delivers Book of Moron, an 85-minute riff on reality and all its threats. Delivering rapid-fire, hit-and-run observations about contemporary consciousness, this driven lecturer imagines himself coming out of the coma of everyday existence to embark on a treacherous pursuit of truth by process of elimination.

And — wow spelled backwards! — there’s a lot to eliminate here. Now on tour — but running only through Sunday at the Broadway Playhouse — Book of Moron (not to be confused with the musical or the Latter Day Saints) is a curious, hyper-paced, free-associating monologue about mindsets and all the dark matter inside our brain. Dubac forcibly employs circular logic, showy wordplay, glib aphorisms, jaw-dropping paradoxes, and a subversive disruption that should be chillingly familiar. He also resorts to a few wizardly magic tricks (a sudden mirror materializes and a torn-up newspaper repairs itself).

It’s all to make one complex indictment: Dubac impales the “idiocracy” that’s another term for America. His targets: the mediocrity and contradiction of Reality TV, the potholes of politics, the hypocrisy of the sacred cows we like to butcher.

Above Dubac hangs a cross-section of the brain which on closer inspection is actually a flock of sheep with a conspicuously black one standing in for himself. Behind Dubac is a blackboard that he steps through as much as around.

To him we’ve clearly crossed so many lines in 2020 that for millions of morons (you know who you are) a stupid tax seems in order. Surrounded by spin, hobbled by hype, we’ve lost track of the Big Picture and our purpose on the planet.

To unravel his way back to basics, Dubac anatomizes His Inner Moron, with help from His Voice of Reason and the critical thought coming from His Common Sense (which has a redneck accent for some reason). His Inner Child cocks a snoot at authority, sheltering behind the illusion of innocence.

In order to finally open the Door of Truth, Dubac even enlists His Inner Asshole to “battle censorship” with assorted expletives. The final intellectual armament, His Scruples gets to sort through the crap. (He also wears “bullshit detector” vaping pens stuck in his wiggling ears that register cant and lies.) Ever analyzing, he postulates an “app” for the various levels of truth (illusory, naked, and the whole and nothing but).

It all comes down to holding onto contradictions without forcing the facts to fit our feelings.

According to his own hype (which compares him to Mark Twain and Lily Tomlin), “Funny has never been this smart.” More than a raconteur, however, Dubac resembles a manic professor as eager to entertain as enlighten.

He pretty much does, well and long enough to justify sharing Book of Moron with a captive audience. Hopefully, we proved ourselves non-morons immune from a stupid tax — unless that was the price of admission. Is the last joke on us?

photos courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

Book of Moron
tour presented by Broadway in Chicago
Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut
ends on March 1, 2020
for tickets, call 800.775.2000 or visit Broadway in Chicago

tour continues; for dates and cities, visit Robert Dubac

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