Review: ‘One Slight Hitch’ at the Old Opera House

One Slight Hitch at The Old Opera House, directed by Glenn Frail, is a wonderfully romantic comedy. In this delightfully sharp farce by Lewis Black, it’s 1981 and Courtney’s wedding day in a perfect suburban neighborhood has arrived. Her mother, Delia, is making sure every last detail is perfect.. right up until the doorbell rings. Instead of the florist, Courtney’s ex-boyfriend shows up, with no idea today is his ex-girlfriend’s wedding, and he doesn’t intend to leave any time soon. Now it’s up to Courtney’s father, Doc, and her sisters, Melanie and P.B., to keep their mother, the bride and the groom from finding out about the looming ex-boyfriend disaster before all hell breaks loose!

Alan Harner, Jen George, Charles Ochs, Allyna Wilson, Elizabeth Ricketts, Linda Romero, and Jeff Czerbinski. Photo courtesy of The Old Opera House.
Alan Harner, Jen George, Charles Ochs, Allyna Wilson, Elizabeth Ricketts, Linda Romero, and Jeff Czerbinski. Photo courtesy of The Old Opera House.

Jeff Czerbinski does a superb job as family patriarch Sherman “Doc” Coleman. He handles many of the best one-liners in the script with fantastic ease. Czerbinski is hilariously zany with many of the physical comedy bits and makes the character instantly loveable.

Linda Romero is delightfully spastic as the mother Delia Coleman. She did a tremendous job on her lengthy monologue near the end of the show about the generation gap of parents and children after World War II. Romero and Czerbinski have exceptional chemistry as the long-time married couple and their scenes together are delightful.

As bride-to-be Courtney, Jen George displays an attitude and perfectly-timed sarcastic delivery on many of her lines. George especially shone in a fight scene with the ex-boyfriend near the end of Act 1.

Elizabeth Ricketts is wonderfully sassy and sexy as middle child, Melanie, who prefers one-night stands to steady relationships. Ricketts was excellent as the tough-as-nails, black sheep of the family.

As the youngest child and narrator, P.B., Allyna Wilson is adorably naïve and her wholesome, earnest reactions were the best moments in certain scenes. Wilson wonderfully handled the opening and closing monologues of the show, though she could slow her speech down a little at the opening of the show, as some phrases were sped-over and missed.

The contrast between the three different sister characters and their vastly different performances was excellently displayed in a humorous and touching scene in Act 1, as the sisters compare ideas on marriage and relationships.

Charles Ochs is wonderfully over-the-top as Courtney’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan. He has several laugh-out-loud moments as a free-spirited writer and his comedic timing is exceptional.

As the “perfect” clean-cut groom, Harper, Alan Harner is unbelievably optimistic and wholesome. Though the character has the least amount of stage time, Harner made the role very memorable and endearing.

One Slight Hitch is an extremely funny show, though not your typical farce. While there are quick dialogue exchanges and zany physical gags, the show does not proceed with the typical breakneck speed of a farce and the pacing sometimes drags at certain points throughout the show. The action normally picks back up quickly, but some lengthy lulls are noticeable.

The 1981 setting is vividly displayed through the superior design values. The single unit set, designed by is a picturesque middle-class suburban living room with various doors and staircases for the many entrances and exits over the course of the wedding day.

Linda Romero and Jen George. Photo courtesy of The Old Opera House.
Linda Romero and Jen George. Photo courtesy of The Old Opera House.

Jen George’s costumes instantly evoke the look of 1980’s small town life while highlighting the different aspects of each character, and the teal bridesmaid’s dresses look like replicas straight out of a 1980’s bridal magazine. Will Heyser-Paone’s lighting design was exceptional. A fantastic transition occurred whenever P.B. played music on her faithful Walkman, as the lights instantly changed to quirky, party-rave pattern lights and instantly changed back to normal as soon as one of her parents pulled her headphones off.

For a delightfully nostalgic and thoughtful comedy going off without a hitch, be sure to catch One Slight Hitch at the Old Opera House.

Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission.

One Slight Hitch plays through February 14, 2016, at The Old Opera House Theatre Company – 204 North George Street, in Charles Town, West Virginia. For tickets, call the box office at (304) 725-4420.



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