The Book of Moron is back Off-Broadway, and it’s as timely as it ever was. The acclaimed one-man comedy, written and performed by Robert Dubac (The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?) and originally directed by the late Gary Shandling, was workshopped in LA, Denver, and NYC in 2015, and has toured the country since 2016. It’s now playing a limited engagement at SoHo Playhouse through October 3, and as Dubac perceptively points out with his rapid-fire acerbic wit, our society hasn’t really upped its IQ much since then. To the contrary, it “has dropped to a Q.”
Employing the metaphor that he’s in a coma (of stupidity) from which he’s desperately trying to awaken, Dubac searches for truth amidst the illusion, hypocrisy, hype, and spin that bombard and brainwash us all. While attempting to regain his memory and sanity about “the big stuff,” he hears voices in his head – the Voice of Reason, Common Sense, Inner Moron, Inner Child, Inner Asshole, and Scruples – giving their perspectives on everything from sex, race, and religion to politics and the media. And although they’re all part of his inner self, even they can’t agree, and he’s clueless.
So what’s a moron to do? Create a brilliantly incisive monologue with non-stop laughs, biting observations, provocative honesty, and a momentous message that prove he’s anything but. (No, I’m not that big a moron; I know a preposition is a word you don’t end a sentence with. But the misuse, abuse, and corruption of language is another important theme of the show, so “whatever”).
Directly addressing the audience, assigning us the role of his Scruples, and at times interacting and soliciting responses (“That was NOT a rhetorical question”), Dubac also carries on conversations with the voice-overs of his inner selves or physically embodies them with distinctive speech patterns and mannerisms that suit the essence of their defining characteristics.
The fast-paced performance is loaded with clever word plays and puns, references to Pavlovian conditioning, sleights of hand and voice that show how easily the gullible public is fooled by the magic of illusions, and both politically-incorrect and “woke” humor, with something not only to offend everyone, but to make everyone critically rethink the commonly held beliefs and biased misinformation we are fed and too easily accept, in “the dumbing down of modern-day life.”
One example of Dubac’s caustic barrage of spot-on one-liners, and one that I will be quoting tirelessly until something changes, is his questioning if “women muggers only steal 70% on the dollar?” It’s the epitome of his funny/not funny insights, mastery of “thinking outside the box,” and pure comic genius.
Dubac is supported by a simple yet telling set design by Melissa Moore (with a backdrop image of a brain filled with sheep) and effective sound and lighting by Jacob Gilbert that bring focus to his razor-sharp revelations. Be sure not to miss this entertaining and enlightening wake-up call.
Running Time: Approximately 80 minutes, without intermission.
The Book of Moron plays through Sunday, October 3, 2021, Thursday-Saturday at 9 pm, with 3 pm matinees on Sunday, at SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street, NYC. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling (212) 691-1555, or at the box office on Tuesdays-Sundays after 4 pm. Under present COVID-19 protocol, audience members are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine, completed at least fourteen days prior to the performance. Mask use will be required per current CDC guidelines.