After a seven month run in New York, Bert Lahr's latest vehicle has come to Boston for three weeks. Two on the Aisle, a series of twenty spearate sketches, shows that vaudeville satire is still funny but that Lahr and his rubber face can be stretched only so far. Out of the twenty scenes, four are uproarious, five more are amusing, and the rest is standard mediocre filler.
Lahr's best scenes, though, are worth the price of a balcony seat. His Space Brigade parodies TV sciencefiction programs to perfection as he wisecracks with the Queen of Venus and her Venusmen. Again in The Clown, Lahr soliloquizes as a cross-eyed Pagliacci, clowns through a superdeadpan imitation of Rudolph Valentino in Sapanish costume, and mimics a stately Spanish dance while peering down the front of a dancing partner twice his height. It is Lahr's grimaces, pantomine, and periodic exclamations ("Gonggg") that put these scenes across. The frequent appearance of six G-strung showgirls adds the final touch of burlesque atmosphere.
One amasing non-Lahr scene is worthy of mention: comedian Elliot Reed does an excellent one man imitation of a Kefauver Committee hearing, complete with bitter but accurate parodies of Senators O'Connor and Tobey.
The filler sketches center either on a torch song by Lahr's attractive co-star Delores Gray or some mild mass choreography by the troupe. Miss Gray has a pleasant torch voice, but songs like There never was a baby like my baby are pretty thin. The many dance sequences, mostly people in purple suits running to and fro about the stage to some quickly forgotten tune, are unimpressive. Unfortunately this filler drags Two on the Aisle down to the level of just mild entertainment.