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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Free Range Thinking at The Marsh Berkeley

Posted By on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

robert_dubac_web.jpg

Free Range Thinking isn't just missing a hyphen. It's missing a point.

Robert Dubac's one-man show, now playing at The Marsh Berkeley, tackles a whole mess of topics no less daunting than religion, race, sex, media, and politics. The result may be free-ranging, but it isn't nearly as insightful, or as edgy, as Dubac seems to imagine.

At times, the show benefits from Dubac's talent for crafting sardonic one-liners. ("When you wear your hat off to one side, it's not because you're fashionable," he says. "It's because you don't know how to operate a hat.") The problem is that the one-liners never add up to anything. At all.

An even bigger problem: Dubac relies far too much on obvious, clumsy metaphors, like when he literally walks out of a box in order to illustrate the power of out-of-the-box thinking. Or when he creates a Door of Truth, apparently because he possesses the key to such a thing.

In Dubac's version of the Truth, you can tell unfunny blonde jokes as if it were 1992 all over again. You can also make casual, callow remarks about how annoying women can be, because I guess women are funny that way. And in this magical place of Truthfulness, you can even get away with a horrible James Earl Jones impression.

Dubac's conclusion after all this? "Us versus them," he says, "is really us versus us." If that strikes you as revelatory, then by all means buy a ticket.

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Chris Jensen

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