It’s no secret that the ideal hairdo or perfect accessory can make or break anyone’s evening, and no one demonstrates this more clearly than the talented cast of the Annoyance Theatre‘s improv extravaganza Hitch*Cocktails. From the brilliant minds of Is This Your Homework? Productions comes two hours of improvised murder mystery inspired by random audience suggestions and (more importantly) the writing style of Alfred Hitchcock‘s film noir heyday! What sets this group apart, however, is not just their ongoing hilarity and innovation in the face of hokey humor and a complex drinking game. It’s their unique use of costuming, specifically through hats and hairdo’s, to create their characters.
We here at Sine Qua Non know all too well that a foolproof quaff or elegant scarf can change everything, and were delighted to see Hitch*Cocktails put this to the test.
Hitch*Cocktails has been receiving excellent reviews, and stands apart as one of the only improv shows running this summer that so fully embodies the age-old adage “hair is who we are!” Using only the contents of an on-stage hat rack, the occasional fake weapon, and a quintessential mini-bar, the troupe concocted distinct identities, ranging from panicky, bouffant-donning housewives to slick and suspicious side-burn wearing criminals.
What’s even more impressive is Hitch*Cocktails‘ use of hats and hairpieces: the Is This Your Homework? troupe takes specific pride in their use of costume and set pieces ordinarily reserved for scripted theatre, and incorporating them into the unpredictable world of improv. The players in this production portrayed multiple characters in the same evening, and the only physical distinction between the array of identities was in the way they accessorized. For example, in one evening actress Alex Young ranged from a nasally waif in a 1960’s head scarf to a petulant security officer, fake revolver, police cap and all.
While these switches offered ample opportunities to appreciate Young’s (and her fellow performers’) acrobatic acting skills, they also presented the perfect chance for audience members to enjoy the stereotypical roles behind specific hair and hat choices, and the fun we can have in wearing them! Style with hair and accessories does more than simply accent this Hitchcockian comedy world: it literally helps define who we are.
Directed by Stephanie Vicek, Hitch*Cocktails runs at 851 West Belmont Avenue, 10:00 pm every Friday night until September 25th! Get your tickets now and don’t miss this murder mystery cocktail adventure!