This is actually the first play I have seen at The Raven, and my first ‘Vagabond Players’ experience. I have been told time and time again by many, many people how talented this theatre company is, and I have to tell you that they certainly lived up to the hype!
Firstly, ‘One Slight Hitch’ is a really well written and entertaining play.
The playwright is Lewis Black, a multiple award winning comedian, gifted and prolific writer and regular on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Black’s sarcastic style, full of hyperbole and social comment gives a wonderful edge to this story of an all American and slightly dysfunctional family. Although dysfunctional is of course, always objective, they seem pretty normal to me, which is perhaps more of a comment on my own family than this one!
This particular family is both loving and slightly prone to hysteria, and watching them cope with the wedding day of their eldest daughter, Courtney, played brilliantly by Bonnie Lawrence, her ex-boyfriend Ryan, played with quirky, awkward humor by P.J. Evans, who drops by uninvited, is a joy. We can all relate to the pressures for everyone and everything to be perfect, especially when the stakes are high. All this familiar family life is seen through the memories of the goofy youngest daughter P.B, wonderfully and confidently played by Cheyenne Dillon.
The play is set when it was written in the oh so hilarious eighties, and is understandably replete with eighties music, frizzy hair and a dry and acerbic middle daughter, Melanie, played by Kathleen Grosky, and so well in fact, that I thought it was my own daughter up there. The devoted parents, Doc and Delia, played by Cindy Dellinger and Michael Homeier respectively are classics. This couple is the center of the play and their conversations, veer from the sweet and romantic to the terrifyingly fraught, just like every married couple I know in fact. We watch Delia’s particular journey with delight. From Calm to tense to hysterical, to prescriptively induced extreme calm and back again. The push and pulls of family life are so well performed and with such realistic affection that I often had tears of laughter as well as tears of joy.
The direction was really masterful and inventive, thank you Lewis Hauser.
I particularly liked the inventive use of the stage and theatre, the kitchen being off stage and through the audience created a sense of actually being ‘inside’ the action as well as being inside the family home, well done!!
I highly recommend ‘One Slight Hitch’, reminiscent of favorite John Hughes films like “Ferris Buellers Day Off” or “Mr Mom”. If you love classic, brilliantly written, observational American family humor then you are in for a real treat!!!
Directed by Lewis Hauser
PB - Cheyann Dillon
Delia - Cindy Dellinger
Doc - Michael Homeier
Courtney - Bonnie Lawrence
Ryan - P.J. Evans
Melanie - Kathleen Grosky
Harper - Brett Chapin
Director - Lewis Hauser
Costume Design - Sherry Coon
Sound Design - Susan Stangl
Light & Sound Operator - Christina Grisanti
Set Design - Cat Michaels & Sherry Coon
Producers - Mike Thompson, Cat Michaels & Cindy Dellinger
One Slight Hitch is running form March 6th - March 28th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm at:
The Raven Playhouse
5233 Lankershim Blvd
Tickets are $20
You can reserve your tickets at 818-206-4003