BWW Review: Theatre Artists Studio Presents RABBIT HOLE
In David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize winning drama, RABBIT HOLE, death is a riddle and grief is its nemesis and ordinary people struggle to unravel the mystery of it all. With a cast that captures the angst and humanity of its characters, Theatre Artists Studio's production, directed by Barbara Acker, is a solemn and reverential journey into the heart of darkness and the light at the end of the mourning cave.
The Corbetts, Becca (Larah Pawlowski) and Howie (Ben Rojek), grieve in a manner of their own, under the same roof where memories find root in every corner, but not together, over the death of their four year old son. Becca has retreated into a cocoon of woe, folding and boxing the remnants of her child's life, resisting comfort. Howie thrives on videos of the boy, suffers the rebuffs of failed attempts to reconnect with his wife, and finds comfort elusive.
Into their universe of isolation and paralysis are proofs of life. Becca's sister Izzy (Ashley Faulkner), a polar opposite with a feisty don't-tread-on-me attitude, has revealed that she's pregnant. Their mother Nat (Patti Davis Suarez) endeavors to bring comfort to her daughter. And the young at-fault driver, a teen named Jason (Nathaniel Smith) suddenly appears to express remorse for his fatal act.
As Nat affirms, people want death to make sense. Is it a curse? Is there someone to blame? Is it "God's plan?" There may be no satisfactory answers to these questions, but if mourners do not come to terms with death, the grief may kill if not paralyze them. Perhaps, however, in Jason's rabbit hole version of science, if what we are is but a version of alternative realities that exist in an infinite universe where our other selves are happy, maybe we have the choice to free ourselves from grief and move on and out of our self-created rabbit hole.
Lindsay-Abaire has provided the deftly crafted words to a play of deep and resonant emotion. Theatre Artists Studio's superb cast has filled them with depth of authenticity and heart.
RABBIT HOLE runs through October 21st at The Studio in Scottsdale, AZ.
Photo credit to Mark Gluckman