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Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van – A Zany Spoof with 100 Laughs at The Little Theatre of Alexandria

Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van – A Zany Spoof with 100 Laughs at The Little Theatre of Alexandria

Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van
The Little Theatre of Alexandria
Jordan Wright
September 12, 2023
Special to The Zebra

Patrick Gallagher, Teresa Preston, and John Paul Odie (Photo/Fred Lash)

In Mary Lynn Dobson’s comedy Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van we become witness to the antics of a zany theatre troupe at The Neighborhood Actors Summer Fun Repertory Theatre. Due to the limited space in the troupe’s playhouse, the company spends time backstage and in a parking lot where volunteer and resident aging hippie, Vondo (Paul Donahoe), who has a predilection for playing the intro to Iron Butterfly’s Smoke on the Water and lives out of his van with fellow techie and volunteer Jeannie.

As they prepare for their production of Hello Dolly led by Eric (Ian Wade), an artistic director with a knack for turning every musical into a murderous, sex-crazed horror show, things immediately start to go awry. “See beyond the words!” Eric tells the cast coming up with bizarre alternate realities for the plot. There’s hilarious conflict aplenty when Mike, the director, tries futilely to rein Eric in telling Meredith who’s playing Dolly Levy that, contrary to what Eric has told her, Dolly is most assuredly not meant to be portrayed as a pimp.

Ian Wade (Eric) and Ann Brodnax (Meredith) (Photo/Fred Lash)

Meanwhile chorus boy Daniel (well played by Joe Neff) is determined to suck up to Jeff, the theater’s producer, begging him to produce his silent play, “Mime: The Musical”. Some of the play’s funniest bits are Daniel racing around miming and tap dancing and driving them all crazy. Think Pee Wee Herman.

John Paul Odie and Joe Neff (Daniel) (Photo/Fred Lash)

This is the broadest sort of comedy with tons of sight gags, pratfalls, silly costumes and daffy shenanigans. Think Mel Brooks meets Monty Python while keeping all the balls in the air. There’s Meredith (Ann Brodnax) an over-the-hill diva who desperately wants the part of the ingenue in The Sound of Music. The ingenue, Robyn (Naomi Bertha), who is cast as Medea, in a dress fitted out with exploding entrails. And calm, cool and collected Harriet (Eleanore Tapscott), a counterpoint to the angsty Robyn, who gets miscast in everything yet has the sassiest comeback lines to put everyone in their proper place. Mike offers the best description of Scott (Patrick Gallagher), the Wardrobe Master, “He knows the difference between purple and aubergine.”

Kirk Lambert (Jeff) and Eleanore Tapscott  (Photo/Fred Lash)

Thanks to a wonderfully lovable cast, Director Mike Donahue does a terrific job keeping the pace at breakneck speed in this outrageously funny farce that skewers anyone who has ever put on a show, experienced prop mayhem, or bolloxed up the sound cues with a nod to Charles Dragonette and Jenya Holbert for the wacky set design. Cheers to all actors and backstage crew who love the theater life and are celebrated in this madcap spoof.

See it for a hundred laughs.

Lighting Design by Ken and Patti Crowley; Sound Design by Janice Rivera; Costume Design by Robbie Snow and Ali Zaikouk.

Paul Donahoe (Vondo), Teresa Preston (Jeannie), John Paul Odie (Mike), and Eleanore Tapscott (Harriet) (Photo/Fred Lash)

Through September 30th at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For tickets and information call the box office at 703 683-5778 or visit

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