STORY: Becca is folding clothes as her sister, Izzy, relates the latest in her series of misadventures. Seems Izzy landed a punch on another woman at a local bar, who, as it turns out, is the ex-girlfriend of Izzy’s lover, Augie. Becca’s disapproval abruptly turns to envy, though, when Izzy reveals that she is pregnant. This is startling news to Becca, who has been grieving the death of her 4-year-old son, Danny, for several months.
Danny’s death has had a devastating effect on his father, Howie, as well. While Howie tries to return to normalcy, Becca’s constant sniping at him, Izzy and her mother, Nat, keeps everyone on edge. When the teen boy whose car hit Danny asks to meet Becca and Howie in person, their strained relationship faces another formidable challenge.
HIGHLIGHTS: David Lindsay-Abaire won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 with this sober and affecting work. Now, under Jason Cannon’s carefully crafted direction, Insight Theatre Company’s finely calibrated presentation finishes the company’s fourth season.
OTHER INFO: Jenni Ryan is precise in her portrayal of the outwardly cool and distant Becca, getting under the skin of her family with an almost clinical approach to bereavement until she sits down with Jason, the shy teenage driver. The latter’s explanation of his love for science fiction and his own fanciful tale of a son’s journey in search of his dead scientist father through ‘rabbit holes’ in the universe ushers in the drama’s most powerful moment.
Christopher Hickey is excellent in revealing the conflicting emotions of Howie, whose anger and depression are sublimated in a desperate quest to return meaning and hope to his life and that of Becca’s.
Lara Buck and Donna Weinsting contribute marvelous performances respectively as the ditzy but optimistic Izzy and the resilient Nat, who dealt with the death of her own son years before. Hickey, Buck and Weinsting all are convincing in showing their own characters’ grief while deferring to Becca’s particular fragility.
In appealing and naturalistic fashion, Rahamses Galvan etches a fine portrait of the quiet and introspective Jason, whose own life has been unalterably changed as well.
Rabbit Hole is a well-told tale of an unspeakably tragic event and its numbing aftermath, finely realized in Insight Theatre’s moving presentation.
RATING: A 4.5 ON A SCALE OF 1-TO-5.
Insight Theatre Company
VENUE: HEAGNEY THEATRE, NERINX HALL H.S.
DATES: SEPT. 30, OCT. 1 AND 2
TICKETS: $20-$30; 556-1293 OR