Thursday, February 18, 2010

- Theater Review - Rabbit Hole

The Corn Stock Winter Playhouse continues its stellar 2009-2010 season with "Rabbit Hole" by David Lindsay-Abaire.

This Pulitzer Prize winning play is a dead serious drama about loss and grief and emotional recovery. It is the story of a young couple, Becca and Howie (Mollie Huisman and Tim Wyman) who are dealing with the death of their four-year-old son, Danny. The boy ran after his dog into the street and was struck and killed by a young teenage driver, Jason, played by Tadd Maddalozzo.

Other characters are Becca's newly-pregnant sister Izzy (Katherine Marchetta) and Becca's and Izzy's mother, Nat, played by Connie Sinn. This play is filled with complicated emotions and interactions. Becca and Howie deal with their grief as Becca also deals with the news of her sister's pregnancy, coming so soon after the loss of her own child. We also learn that Becca shares with her own mother the loss of a son, one an innocent 4 year-old; the other a 30 year-old heroin addict who has taken his own life.

A play of this emotional intensity demands a high level of skill and engagement on the part of the actors, and this troupe very nearly delivers. While Tadd Maddalozzo's Jason is decidedly one-dimensional, the others turn in admirable performances. Kathryn Marchetta's Izzy is especially convincing, and Connie Sinn comes through in her delivery of what is perhaps the most important dialogue of the play, an explanation of the grieving process and how its internalization is necessary for survival.

In the end, the performance hits shy of its mark. Perhaps it is the fault of the direction or perhaps this is simply too complex a play to tackle at a local level. However, I am grateful for my first exposure to this exceptionally written piece and I will look forward to seeing it again someday in a professional venue.

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