|Ray Goulding, Bob Elliott.|
"In Lieu of Reviews"
For background on how this previously unpublished series—introducing all mainstream New York shows between 1970 and 1975—came to be and its relationship to my three The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage volumes (covering every New York play, musical, revue, and revival between 1920 and 1950), please check the prefaces to any of the earlier entries beginning with the letter “A.” See the list at the end of the current entry.
BOB AND RAY—THE TWO AND ONLY [Comedy Revue/Topical] A: Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding; D: Joseph Hardy; S: William Ritman; L: Thomas Skelton; P: Joseph I. and Johnna Levine i/a/w Hy Saporta; T: John Golden Theatre: 9/24/70-2/13/71 (158)
Famed TV and radio comedians Bob and Ray had a considerable success with this evening of eccentric character dialogues, many of them cast as interviews in broadcast style. Performing on a stage cluttered with a vast assortment of eye-catching junk, very little of it actually used in the program, they struck several reviewers’ funny bones with a resounding whack.
Walter Kerr, setting aside their narrow range, loved the incisiveness of their wit, calling them “very, very, very funny men, interchangeably and surreptitiously.” “I think they are fresh, charming, and original light comedians of impeccable taste,” wrote Richard Watts. This was “one of the zaniest shows to hit town in many a season,” offered Clive Barnes, although he said their material was “not cutting enough for satire.”
But John Simon tore the pair apart as “two near vacuums . . . a monochord scraped by two bows.” He continued: “[T]hey are by current standards of even minimal intelligence, unfunny,” particularly as their humor lacks honest foundations." Like Simon, John Lahr and Julius Novick could not have been more bored.
Absurd Person Singular
“Acrobats” and “Line”
All My Sons
All Over Town
All the Girls Came Out to Play
And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little
And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers
And Whose Little Boy Are You?
Anne of Green Gables
Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead
As You Like It
The Au Pair Man
Baba Goya [Nourish the Beast]
The Ballad of Johnny Pot
The Bar that Never Closes
The Basic Training oAf Pavlo Hummel
The Beauty Part
The Beggar’s Opera
Behold! Cometh the Vanderkellens
Be Kind to People Week
Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill
Bette Midler’s Clams on a Half-Shell Revue
Black Light Theatre of Prague
Black Picture Show
The Black Terror
Blasts and Bravos: An Evening with H,L. Mencken