Comedian Lewis Black's many- -years-old play, One Slight Hitch, was the cause of bouncy mirth and merry-making on Speedway Boulevard. As a result of his stand-up work, Black's known mostly as a pissed-off, clenched-fist lunatic kind of guy, but this play from his early years is farcically funny and even a bit sentimental.
The play goes back to the early '80s courtesy of P.B. (Sophia Duclo), youngest daughter of Delia (Carlisle Ellis) and Doc (Keith Wick), on the day of other daughter Courtney's (Samantha Cormier) wedding. Weddings breed stress, and Delia seems intent on being the poster child for a stressed out mother of the bride.
Initially, her stress is just the common sort—will the flowers get there on time? Will the food spoil in the outside heat? She doesn't know the half of it. Courtney's ex, Ryan (Steve Wood), shows up unannounced, having hitchhiked from New York to Ohio to begin his Jack Kerouac-inspired trek across the country. Only Doc knows initially and sends him to the shower to clean up and to stay put until he can escape. His presence is revealed to the sisters, including Melanie (Carrie Hill), who has breezed in, as he scampers about in his undershorts because Delia, unknowingly, put his clothes in the wash. Doc is drinking steadily, attempting to bear the madness, not really caring about what happens as long as his daughter gets married, if that's what she wants.
Director Stephen Frankenfield has rounded up a mostly seasoned cast to execute these shenanigans, and he has orchestrated well the slamming door-fest that is the hallmark of farces. Once the madness begins, his cast marshals all the energy needed to keep the joint jumping.
One could argue that Courtney's wedding dress is the real star of the show. It is so over-the-top of the already over-wrought fashion of the '80s that it almost steals the show. Thank Stephanie Frankenfield for this and the other costumes.
Perhaps the most wonderful surprise of the evening was Duclo as P.B. A freshman in high school, she has been taking classes with LTW's All Together Theatre for ten years, and if her performance indicates what kids learn in the program, sign your young thespians up. Duclo was simply delightful as our guide through the madness with her Walkman headphones and Republican-inspired happiness.