Two’s A Crowd – An Early Neil Simon Wanna-Be

At the advice of her friend Margery, wedding planner Wendy (Rita Rudner) has uncharacteristically come to Las Vegas hoping for a refresh from her husband’s infidelity. It was either this or goat yoga. Tom (Robert Yacko), a retired electrician, is back to play in the poker tournament where last year he ranked four thousand four hundred and fifty-first. Due to a computer glitch, they’re both booked into the same room. Needless to say, the hotel is at full occupancy.

Both in their sixties and lonely, the strangers otherwise couldn’t be more different. (Coping with a certain age is the pervasive theme.) Wendy is pissed off and prissy. The Travel Channel is her trip Bible. She won’t close the door and Googles the usurper. “Hello Room Service, please and if possible I’d like to be put on hold.”

Tom, on the other hand, is so loosey goosey he obliviously starts to change clothes in front of her. They take pot shots at one another. “Some people find me a lot of fun,” Wendy snaps. “Who, Amish accountants?” Tom retorts. Without recourse, a fold-a-bed is secured.

The protagonists, with, for some curious reason, a hotel employee (Kelly Holden Bashar), sing “Two’s A Crowd.” Affability rises above uneven vocals. Music, lyrics, and intermittent off-to-the-side numbers are also intrusively provided by long-haired Jason Feddy (on acoustic guitar) whose lyrics describe without intrinsic value what we’ve already seen and whose music belongs in a 1970s coffee house.

Robert Yacko and Rita Rudner

You know the rest of the story. Thrown together, the two get to know one another a bit and end up in bed. An isolated contemporary perspective suggests neither takes the sex as anything more than it is. When Wendy’s contrite husband Gus (Brian Lohmann) shows up unannounced, she must make a decision.

Writing, though occasionally resonant and clever to the older portion of the audience – who laugh – is tired, plot completely predictable, use of ancillary characters clumsy. This is not to say retirement homes all over the country mightn’t appreciate the authors’ sincerity and, yes, sweetness.

Rita Rudner delivers every line exactly as you would expect from the comic. She’s clip and sarcastic. Practiced timing is evident. Wendy emerges a one note caricature.

Robert Yacko (Tom) is the only believable personage on stage. The actor somehow manages not to succumb to surrounding excess offering sympathetic portrayal.

Kelly Holden Bashar (her maid has a cringe worthy accent) and Brian Lohmann (his rock number momentarily redeems) both over act. It’s impossible to tell how much is due to direction.

Martin Bergman’s Direction swings from unimaginative to dated musical numbers staged as if out of a self-conscious amateur production. Hamming up is clearly deliberate, but what I suspect was meant to be camp instead arrives as ouch.

There’s no credit for the unflattering costumes and (possibly intentionally) terrible wigs.

Scenic Designer Tessa Ann Bookwalter has created one of the ugliest 1970s hotel rooms you can imagine with nothing in the play but attitude to indicate we’re way back then.

Photos by Carol Rosegg
Opening: Robert Yacko and Rita Rudner

Two’s A Crowd
Book-Rita Rudner & Martin Bergman
Music/Lyrics-Jason Eddy
Directed by Martin Bergman
59E59 Theaters
Through August 25, 2019

About Alix Cohen (690 Articles)
Alix Cohen is the recipient of eight New York Press Club Awards for work published on this venue. Her writing history began with poetry, segued into lyrics and took a commercial detour while holding executive positions in product development, merchandising, and design. A cultural sponge, she now turns her diverse personal and professional background to authoring pieces about culture/the arts with particular interest in artists/performers and entrepreneurs. Theater, music, art/design are lifelong areas of study and passion. She is a voting member of Drama Desk and Drama League. Alix’s professional experience in women’s fashion fuels writing in that area. Besides Woman Around Town, the journalist writes for Cabaret Scenes, Broadway World, and Theater Pizzazz. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, and ifashionnetwork. She lives in Manhattan. Of course.