Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

March 3, 2015

One Slight Hitch

Majestic Theater, West Springfield, MA
through April 4, 2015
by Jennifer Curran

Lewis Black, the well-known comedian, whose penchant for raw, angry, and political stand-up is well-known, has crafted a Neil Simon homage with not one sharp edge. Steeped in nostalgia, topped with some great early 80’s music, and a lot of door banging slapstick, “One Slight Hitch” is a very funny play.

Photo by Lee Chambers
In a well-appointed suburban home in Cincinnati, Doc (Anderson Matthews) and his wife Delia (Rebecca Nelson), are gearing up for their eldest daughter Courtney’s wedding to straight laced, overly wholesome Harper. One slight hitch has led Courtney’s ex-boyfriend Ryan into the midst of the action. Unwelcome and uninvited, the wandering writer Ryan (Ryan McCarthy) brings to light the deep dysfunction, the tight bonds, and the alcoholism abundant in middle America.

The standout performances here belong to Emery Henderson as P.B., the eternal little sister, and the previously mentioned Anderson Matthews. Henderson is a light on the stage and her moments of nostalgia are truly golden. She flits and dances like a real life Rainbow Brite, entirely endearing and never too sweet. Matthews’ Doc, the beleaguered father of three daughters, is hilariously intoxicated throughout, yet manages to stay on just the right side of ridiculous. The audience roots for this crazy family from lights up. Special mention here goes to Ashley Malloy and her wickedly fun turn as the errant rebel Melanie. She is the reason all that light doesn’t get too blinding. 

Rand Foerster’s direction brings out the best in the script and avoids getting too sticky-sweet in key moments, of which there could have been one too many.

“One Slight Hitch” recalls the classic American play. One set, one story, and one very big heart beats to songs somehow now three decades past.