"Rabbit Hole" is a Valuable Experience
David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole” marks the beginning of the Pollard Theatre’s 25th season: Seasons of Legacy. W. Jerome Stevenson expertly directs this award winning play, bringing a great cast to the fore. As a student at Julliard, Abaire was advised to write of his greatest fear. Some years later, as a parent, he realized his greatest fear and nightmare is the loss of a child. “Rabbit Hole” was born bringing to the stage a universality that is unquestionable. The play follows grieving parents as they try to put some life together after the accidental death of their young son, Danny. The heartbreak is realized on many levels and at different stages. Stevenson has put together a cast that understands this dread and is able to share the loss as though it were their own.
Michael Edsel and Jodi Nestander tear out the primal souls of each audience member, yet leave us intact with hope for a future. These two portray Howie and Becca Corbett, a typically loving middle class couple who are coping with the recent loss of their beloved 4 year old son, Danny. Howie Corbett takes some comfort from the most recent tape of Danny, film taken while he and Danny play with the dog Taz in the backyard. Edsel’s response to the voice of Danny (Eli Wright Fortney) is poignant. Howie also grieves the loss of the dog, as Becca Corbett is unable to tolerate the dog’s presence and Taz now lives with her mother. Nestander has a complete grasp of Becca Corbett’s inability to discuss their loss. Crystal Ecker is excellent as the wacky sister Izzy, whose pregnancy is welcomed by the family, but nevertheless, hard to accept. Linda McDonald’s sensitive portrayal of mother Nat reveals her own insensitivity and helplessness masterfully. Dalton Thomas plays Jason Willette, the young man at the wheel of the car that killed a child. He knows it is an accident, the Corbett’s know it is an accident, yet Thomas is able to convey Willette’s inescapable guilt.
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