Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole

Group: Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Venue: Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road

Dates: Through March 30

Tickets: From $32.50 to $50; 968-4925 or www.repstl.org

Story: Howie and Becca have been happily married for several years and have carved out for themselves a successful life in suburban New York City. Howie works as an investment broker, while Becca has left her career for motherhood. Their lives are upended when their 4-year-old son, Danny, is killed following his dog into the street, and now nothing is the same.

Becca has withdrawn bitterly from her friends, while her mother and sister, along with Howie, strive to console her. As Howie continues to attend meetings with a support group, Becca agrees to meet Jason, a local high school student who feels responsible for the tragedy, and who shares with her his science-fiction story, dedicated to Danny, about a son who searches for his late father through a series of wormholes leading to alternate worlds.

Highlights: The Rep’s excellent production, under the sharp tutelage of director Jane Page, is set beneath a series of incomplete portraits that loom oppressively over Robert Mark Morgan’s beautifully rendered set design.This sobering 2006 drama by David Lindsay-Abaire was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and garnered five Tony nominations as well. That’s no surprise, as the writing is sharp, focused and finely attuned to the emotions of its five characters. Director Page delivers a powerful and absorbing presentation through the efforts of her cast and crew.

Other Info: While Timothy McCracken generally does well with the difficult role of the grieving husband, his voice often was irritating on opening night, a shrill note I hadn’t noticed in his previous work at The Rep. He offers a good performance that might be better with a less lilting delivery. Still, Rabbit Hole is a powerful production about an awful subject and consistently compelling drama.

Rating: A 4.5 on a scale of 1-to-5.