What do you get when you put together a Mississippi good ol' boy and a vegetarian musical comedy buff who was raised partly on the East Coast, partly in England? You get the comedy team of Mack & Jamie--one of the smoothest, most engaging pairings since Bob Hope met Bing Crosby.
Mack Dryden and Jamie Alcroft may hail from vastly different backgrounds, but they are well matched when it comes to intellectual wit and gently acerbic repartee. A team since the late '70s, Mack & Jamie are comfortable in their skins, and despite their genial bickering, obviously comfortable with each another as well. "Two for All" at the Acme Comedy Theatre is an introduction to the duo at their sophisticated, easeful best.
There's really not much of a play here, more a framing device involving a somewhat shopworn Hollywood struggle and success story. Mack & Jamie hit the road playing various dives in search of every comedian's grail--a shot on "The Tonight Show." The two are funniest when they are chatting, stream-of-consciousness style, while driving their beat-up Plymouth to their next gig. Mixed in with the inspired silliness is deft character work, surprisingly tuneful musical turns and plenty of improvisational savoir-faire. Will Mack & Jamie be the next comics to get their own sitcom? If the network suits have any sense, they will.
* "Two for All," Acme Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. Ends April 4. $12. (213) 525-0202. Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.