Regional Reviews: Seattle
One Slight Hitch Proves Slight Indeed at ACT Theatre
It took my theatergoing companion and I the whole play to decide who the central character was. It starts with the amiably odd-ball youngest daughter P.B. Coleman letting us know that the play is set in the 1980s and thus she is setting it up in flashback. Played with just enough quirkiness by actress Katherine Grant-Suttie, P.B. seems like an obvious central character, but nope. Neither is her sister Courtney, the bride who won't be (wanly portrayed by Kimberly Sustad), a singularly uninteresting character who for inexplicable reasons has had a couple of men in her life, including a boorish ex named Ryan (limply portrayed by Shawn Telford) who shows up uninvited on the day of her wedding to a rather decent if terribly dull fellow named Harper played with some comic zeal by John Ulman. Nope folks, neither of them, nor the bride's more interesting RN sister Melanie (the droll Kirsten Potter), is the central character.
Whether intended as such or not, Delia, the high-strung mother of the bride who lets every little wedding day concern overwhelm her as if she were being swept away by a tidal wave, is the center of this comedy, and that is because stalwart farceur Marianne Owen wills her to be, as if realizing somebody has to keep us laughing. Owen is an absolute study in how to playand earn both laughs and sympathy fora woman not on the edge, but in the middle of a nervous breakdown. She is amiably abetted by R. Hamilton Wright, who plays woozy charm as expertly as anyone, as Delia's husband Doc, who relies on the bottle to calm whatever his own jitters are. The pair of them are, just barely, enough reason to sit through the unevenly paced 100 minutes plus vacuum that Black and Grifasi have given us. In fact, the first reveal of the pair in the show gets a deservedly huge laugh. The last big one you will hear at this let-down of a show.
One Slight Hitch runs through July 8th. For tickets or information contact the ACT box office at 206-292-7676 or visit them online at www.acttheatre.org.
- David Edward Hughes