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Colonial Players Rabbit Hole

By • Nov 5th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Rabbit Hole
Colonial Players
Colonial Players Theater, Annapolis, MD
$20/$15 Seniors and Juniors
Through November 8th

This is the Show Biz Radio review of Rabbit Hole, performed by The Colonial Players in Annapolis, Maryland. We saw the performance on Sunday evening November 2, 2008.

Rabbit Hole is a drama by David Lindsay Abaire. Pulitzer Prize winning drama exquisitely details the love and struggle of devoted parents who must recover from the death of their little boy. Each one has strengths and terrible vulnerabilities and the playwright has sensitively drawn, in daily interactions with family and each other, how each is coping in his or her own way. They rarely are able to help each other despite the wish for it, but they grow toward it as the play ends. An affirming, candid portrayal of family strength and stress, Hole will move anyone who has ever loved anybody.

This was a stand out show; perfectly cast; extremely touching and very thought provoking. This was not an upbeat show with a happy ending. Rabbit Hole actually doesn’t end with everything resolved, but you can feel the family growing. This theatre in the round was a great place to do this production as it was intense, but the actors kept moving so that everyone felt a part of the play.

Becca, the mother of the little boy who was killed, was played convincingly by Kris Valerio. In the first act, Valerio was barely holding it together. She gave the appearance of an egg that was starting to crack. The emotions on her face were so tight and the emotions so real that you felt very close to this character. In the second act she grew stronger as she was willing to try to move on.

Becca’s husband Howie, was played equally well by Jim Gallagher. In the first act he was the strong one. He held his anger in check, and appeared to want to move on. He showed frustration towards his wife when it became apparent that they were not at the same point in the grieving process. In the second act, Howie began to let his anger show. It became especially apparent when Jason (played with a lot of wariness by Joshua Greenwald) wrote to Becca and Howie to begin the forgiveness process. That scene was so tense you could cut it with a knife.

Becca’s mother Nat, played sincerely by Millie Ferrara, was also grieving the of loss of her son. It had happened years ago, but in a way it was still new to her. Nat and Becca had a great emotional scene when they talked about each of their losses. Nat seemed to become very wise when she told her daughter that you never get over it, but you learn to live with it.

Even though this was a serious and emotionally draining show, the happiest (without coming across as sappy) character was Izzy played by Jamie Miller. Miller interacted nicely with her sister and mother. She seemed to be the most laid back of the group, yet she was still very aware of the sadness shared by the rest of the family.

The set for Rabbit Hole was creatively designed. All parts of the theater were used. The main action took place in the kitchen of the home, while a corner of the auditorium was the bedroom of the boy who died. It was decorated with colorful wallpaper and detailed to look like a child’s room. The last area was the family room with a sofa and TV. The sofa was a neutral color that gave the home a nice feel. The Set Designer was Barbara Colburn.

The lighting, too was well done. Each area of the stage was lit to convey a mood. The boy’s room was in blue to convey a somber mood. The kitchen was in a color that seemed to be busy and the living room seemed to be a white that was peaceful. The lighting designer was Terry Scott Morton.

Rabbit Hole ran two hours with one intermission. It is playing for one more weekend Thursday through Saturday at 8 pm at the Colonial Players in Annapolis Maryland. This was a terrific show, definitely a must see.

Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave a comment here on our website at ShowBiz Radio.net. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater events in the DC Region.

And now, on with the show.

Director’s Notes

Art has the ability to reach, touch and affect people in profound ways. Rabbit Hole won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for drama in part because of the craft with which it was written by David Lindsey-Abaire, and likely in part because of how utterly real and engrossing the play can be, transcending the boundaries between actors and audience. We seek to draw the audience in and become involved with the emotions, the issues, the pain, and the awkwardness of ordinary human beings attempting to cope with and survive an extraordinary tragedy, all in their own distinct way. We experience and access their struggles and bravery, and especially the love they have for one another. Life can be very messy, with sharp, rough edges and unresolved conflicts, but we carry on because amidst the pain there is happiness, there is laughter, there is the joy of living. I’m so thankful to all of my cast, crew, staff and the numerous CP volunteers who make the presentation of live, living theater possible for you here tonight. Thank you for being here for us.

Cast

  • Becca: Kris Valerio
  • Howie: Jim Gallagher
  • Izzy: Jamie Miller
  • Nat: Millie Ferrara
  • Jason: Joshua Greenwald
    • Crew

      • Director: Tom Newbrough
      • Assistant Director: Kurt Dornheim
      • Stage Manager: Judi Hilton-Hyde
      • Production Manager: Charlotte Robinson
      • Set Design: Barbara Colburn
      • Set Design Assistant: David Colburn
      • Set Decoration: Tom Ammon
      • Set Decoration Assistants: Ben Carr, Cassie Carr, Sarah Hinman, Judi Hilton-Hyde, Jake Laster, Charlotte Robinson, Dan Robinson, Antjuan Willis
      • Lead Carpenter: Dick Whaley
      • Carpenters: Lee Craft, Jim Robinson, Norman James, Ted Yablonski
      • Lighting Design: Terry Scott Morton
      • Lighting Assistants: Drea Elward, Debby Hall, Ken Greenwald, Sean Macleod, Betsy Morton
      • Lighting Technicians: Drea Elward, Debby Hall
      • Sound Design: David Colburn
      • Sound Technicians: Wes Bedsworth, Dayita Cherry, David Colburn
      • Costume Design: Leslie Woolford
      • Costume Assistant: Brian Blanchard
      • Props: Cornelia Watson
      • Props Assistant: Ken Watson
      • Sound/Video Consultant: Wes Bedsworth
      • Consulting Director: Darice Clewell
      • Production Liaison: Jean Mincher
      • Special Assistant to the Director: Donovan Newbrough
      • Rehearsal Assistants: Angie Dey, Drea Elward, Mary Beth Yablonski
      • Playbill/Poster Design: Jim Gallagher
      • Photography: Colburn Images
      • Program Editor: Tom Stuckey
      • Lobby Display: Beverly Hill van Joolan
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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