Theater Review: Rabbit Hole

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, September 28, 2007

“Rabbit Hole” begins like a comedy, with a long, teasing, hilarious confession about a misadventure in a bar. And there are other scenes featuring happy family occasions.

But you can tell there’s an elephant in the room – something no one wants to talk about. And gradually it comes out. Everyone in this family is grieving over the death a four-year-old child, in an accident eight months earlier. It’s taken a huge toll, particularly on the parents. One of most effective scenes finds the father alone late at night, slumped in a chair, his worn, weary face illuminated by the TV as he watches a video of his son at play.

You could have heard a pin drop in the theater. And there are other scenes like that, as they sort through toys, or talk about selling the house. The script was a Tony nominee and a Pulitzer winner. This production features excellent acting, director Buck Busfield does a fabulous job with a delicate topic.

What makes “Rabbit Hole” so impressive is that it feels so real, depicting the deep reactions of people like you or me, struggling after an awful, awful loss. I think that almost anyone will recognize a person they know and love in this play. I know that I sure did.