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One Slight Hitch

a Comedy
by Lewis Black

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 4665

SHOWING : January 08, 2015 - January 25, 2015



Yes, THAT Lewis Black – The Daily Show guy. And he’s written a play. So hang on to your seats! Doc and Delia Coleman are throwing eldest daughter Courtney the lavish wedding they never had. The groom is perfect, the dress is perfect, and the decorations (assuming they arrive) will be perfect. Then, like in any good farce, the doorbell rings, … and one slight hitch wreaks glorious havoc on all of their plans. So much for perfect.

Director Alan Kilpatrick
Melanie Jennifer Acker
Doc Coleman Mark Cabus
Courtney Kelly Criss
Harper Matt Felten
Delia Coleman Karen Howell
P.B. Bekah Medford
Ryan Jeremy Wood
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One Slight Play
by playgoer
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Lewis Black’s "One Slight Hitch" is a farce-inspired play about problems arising on a wedding day. There’s a lot of slamming doors and deception, all done in a comic fashion. Is it realistic? Not really. How many houses have a full bath off the living room? How many people shut themselves in a closet for extended periods of time? How many couples married before WWII had 16-year-old children in 1981?

Why would a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio describe fishing in the Monongahela River, which ends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? How could people in 1981 discuss chocolate fountains at weddings, when they weren’t invented until 1991? The obvious answer is that the playwright didn’t really research the time period and wrote his play to go for easy laughs for today’s audiences. The easy laughs extend to ridicule of the state of Ohio in comparison to New York City. There’s an artificiality about the whole business that can be a little off-putting.

The set (design by Seamus Bourne) pairs pale pink walls, painted in a subtle and not particularly well-executed faux fashion (scenic artist Hannah Helton), with elegant, large-patterned wallpaper in the hallway, on the stairway, and in the first-floor bath. The uniformity of the wallpaper and the overbearing pinkness of the painted walls makes the set look like some sort of not-very-appealing confection. The same can be said of the play as a whole.

The show starts with an introduction by 16-year-old P.B., who brings us to the stereotyped time period of 1981. In the obnoxiously artificial performance of Bekah Medford, this gets the play off to an energetic, but not very promising start. It also introduces us to sound designer Jason Polhemus’ inventive sound design, which blasts 80’s music at us when P.B. has her Walkman on, then pulls the volume way down when she pulls the headphones down and turns it off when she turns her Walkman off. It’s cute in a couple of sections where P.B. is ignoring the unheard, mime-filled dialogue of her parents (played by Mark Cabus and Karen Howell).

The performances of Mr. Cabus and Ms. Howell are the main reasons to see the show. Both are excellent. Mr. Cabus has some wonderful, physical bits of comedy in a couple of set pieces that seem tailored to his particular talents, and Ms. Howell’s stage presence lets her land every moment of her Valium and liquor-filled performance. Kelly Criss also has some absolutely wonderful moments as daughter Courtney, the bride-to-be. Jeremy Wood, as former flame Ryan, and Jennifer Alice Acker, as man-hungry daughter Melanie, do fine work in roles that are somewhat artificially conceived. Matt Felten, as the groom-to-be, plays his part perhaps in too much of a one-note style, but that’s the way it’s conceived (at least in this production), with birds tweeting chirpily every time he exits through the front door. Director Alan Kilpatrick keeps the show moving as much as the script allows, and it was obvious from the tepid audience reaction at the start of the play and the rapturous audience reactions at the start of the second act that people had decided they liked the play.

Costumes by Abby Parker work well, although they don’t scream "1981" and the lavender touch of Courtney’s wedding gown seems a little tacked-on. Bryan Rosengrant’s lighting works fine, with the shadows of the pre-show lighting disguising the flaws of the pink patterned walls. This is a professional production, and it delivers audience satisfaction. Is it a great play? No. Is it fun? Yes. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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