One Slight Hitch. Photo: Chris BennionLewis Black has the magic to make you laugh, especially with his play “One Slight Hitch”. It features the “hitch” of the ex-boyfriend Ryan (Shawn Telford) crashing the Colemans’ preparation for their daughter Courtney’s (Kimberley Sustad) wedding.

One Slight Hitch. Photo: Chris BennionLewis Black has the magic to make you laugh, especially with his play “One Slight Hitch”. It features the “hitch” of the ex-boyfriend Ryan (Shawn Telford) crashing the Colemans’ preparation for their daughter Courtney’s (Kimberley Sustad) wedding. The seemingly wicked move stirs up the internal conflict within the Colemans, in which it’s the family who actually wants a wedding.

Revolving around the storyline is the context of 1980 Cincinnati, Ohio. The pertinent humor about the Midwest, the Republicans, and generation gap in America are, to me, the “hitch” of the play.

Courtney’s sister Melanie (Kirsten Potter) describes Ohio as home where you (live until you) die. The youngest sister P.B. (Katherine Grant Suttie) claims she would only marry a Republican. Courtney’s mom Delia (Marianne Owen) yearns for an elaborate wedding, because she and the pop Doc (R. Hamilton Wright) did not have one due to the war; this strikes as a generational contrast to Courtney, who wants neither her fiancée Harper (John Ulman) nor her ex-boyfriend Ryan but a life of her own to pursue a career.

The stage setting of the Coleman family’s living room is simple, yet, it holds the entire story together perfectly.

Most scenes happen in the living room, with conversations and actions firing across. The characters act as the stars of their individual stories and yet together they construct the galaxy of the wedding day comedy. In particular, Courtney, Ryan, and the mom Delia have the most to tell; each of their stories resonate with our experiences of making choices in life.

As a teenage daughter, P.B. is free from the hassle of life and marriage, which makes her a perfect introducer to the play’s context and her family’s surprising show-up on stage. When she put on her ear phones, audience can hear the lively music she dances to that creates a separate world from the rest of the family’s.

The play uses the narrative of P. B. at the beginning and the end, allowing us to engage with the story from her perspective. In turns, it also creates a centralized thread throughout the drama-filled sequence.

The Lewis Black’s play written in the ‘80s features an outstanding local Seattle cast at ACT (A Contemporary Theater) and one of New York’s most esteemed actors Joe Grifasi as the director. Accompanying the old-fashioned costumes and settings are the modern lighting and sound effects.

From Jun. 8 to Jul. 8 at ACT, the contemporary Seattle touch on this old-time Midwest comedy is bound to evoke laughter and sentiment cross origin and generation.

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