BWW Review: A Journey Worth Travelling Down a Flawless RABBIT HOLE
Not a single weak link in JTK Productions' powerful, pitch-perfect RABBIT HOLE, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire's 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. The strong cast of five sleekly directed by Eric Hunicutt vividly illustrates Lindsay-Abaire's tale of a family coping with the accidental loss of their little boy Danny. Lindsay-Abaire's arguments for different (opposing?) methods of dealing with grief receive equal weight, keeping you frequently switching allegiance with which character's dealing with their tragedy "correctly."
Jordana Oberman completely inhabits her role of Becca, Danny's mother, who eight months later, still can't seem to move on from his death. Her opening scene exactingly folding Danny's laundry telegraphs volumes of Becca's current state of mind. Oberman effortlessly exhibits the very wide range of emotions her anguished Becca goes through, sometimes switching in split seconds - laughing, crying; being sentimental, mean, condescending.
Becca's husband and Danny's father, Howie apparently coping better. Michael Yurchak instills his portrayal of Howie with much sympathy, warmth, love and patience for his wife. When Howie explodes over Danny's taped-over videotape, Yurchak makes you feel every nerve ending and mixed emotions Howie's feeling at that exact moment verbally confronting his suffering wife. He guiltily accuses Becca of purposely ruining the videotape.
The much needed (and welcomed) comic relief in all these very intense and involving scenes come from Toni Christopher's Izzy (Becca's 'irresponsible' sister) and Darcy Shean as their mother Nat. Both Christopher and Shean nail their dramatic expositions as well.
Coming into this family setting; Jason, the teenage driver who fatally hit Danny, attempts to make amends with Danny's parents, not only because his mother repeatedly told him to, but because he feels it is the right thing to do. Rocky Collins most convincingly shoulders the guilt, the ill-at-ease and the naiveté of the culpable driver behind the fateful wheel.
Scenes of intensity smoothly progress into others with the complementary mood-appropriate musical interludes provided by sound designer Jason Whitton. The detailed set designed by Lily Bartenstein efficiently presents the lived-in, comfortable, and well-appointed suburban living room, kitchen and upstairs bedroom of Danny's.
RABBIT HOLE - one of the most satisfying, intense experiences in Los Angeles theatre I've had the pleasure of savoring. You need to see this one for yourself!