More than half of the Totem Pole Playhouse was filled on Saturday, July 9, for opening night of the play “One Slight Hitch,” which stars TV actress Betsy Randle, Granville Van Dusen, and Jonathan Cable, as well as a slew of other actors. Written by comedian Lewis Black, the play definitely resulted in tons of laughter.
Set in the 1980s, the premise of the play is that a girl named Courtney (played by Kelsey Landon), the oldest of three girls in a family of five, is getting ready for her wedding day with her fiancé Harper (played by Jonathan Cable). The rest of the family members, including Randle, who plays the mother, Delia, are hustling about to make sure things are in order for not only the bride-to-be, but to suit the mother as well. Chaos ensues when Courtney’s ex-boyfriend Ryan (played by Brett Dameron) shows up, and ultimately leaves everyone in disarray, especially Courtney, who seems to lose her cool and eventually has to decide if she is truly marrying the one she is meant to be with.
Interestingly enough, it is not Courtney who narrates this story, but instead, her youngest sister P.B., played by Jacey Powers. Taking place in the 80s, P.B. jams out to popular 80s tunes throughout the play during random transitions. Powers’ character definitely helps add to the silly comic relief throughout the play. Her voice and humor was very reminiscent of Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live.
All of the characters added their own form of comic relief. The middle sister, Melanie (played by Carly Zien) had a wry and cheeky sense about her. Zien’s acting is similar to Elizabeth Gillies on the Nickelodeon show Victorious, by the fact that her character is raunchier than the others and just speaks her mind. She is definitely the wildest of the three, not even trying to hide drinking alcohol quite frequently throughout the play, but also at one point trying to make a pass at Ryan, even though she knows her older sister once dated him. This was a bit odd considering at the beginning, Melanie seemed to be the biggest supporter of Ryan and Courtney. Although, perhaps this was done to show her drunken demeanor.
Granville Van Dusen, who plays the father, Doc, definitely adds his own touch of sarcasm and bite-the-bullet humor. Doc wants to make things perfect for his daughter’s wedding day, mostly under the influence of his wife Delia, but as the chaos continues he shows that even he can’t handle the antics by leaving the main living room scene a few times to find his zen. Each time he was brought back into the picture, though, he definitely gained more than a few laughs. Dusen was probably the most entertaining during the whole show.
The ending does not end like one might think upon reading the summary, or even just after seeing the play as a whole. As the final resolution was announced, it even shocked me a bit, but no spoilers here. It does have a happy-cliché sort of ending, but not the one that anyone would expect.
“One Slight Hitch” will be running at Totem Pole Playhouse until July 24. For a full list of show times and tickets, go to www.totempoleplayhouse.org.