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Rabbit Hole
a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by David Lindsay-Abaire

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 4656

SHOWING : November 14, 2014 - December 07, 2014

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. This winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Dina Shadwell
Jason Chase Alford
Nat Patti French
Lighting Design Michael Magursky
Izzy Cara Mantella
Howie Matthew Myers
Becca Mary Saville
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REVIEWS

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Pitch-Perfect, Picture Perfect
by playgoer
Monday, December 22, 2014
5.0
Sometimes all the elements of a show blend seamlessly together. The cast is right, the technical elements are right, and the direction ties them in a neat bundle that allows the script to shine through. Such is the case with Stage Door Players’ "Rabbit Hole."

Chuck Welcome’s sets are always architecturally and artistically imagined. This is no exception, although the set is slightly less realistic than oftentimes at Stage Door Players. There’s a bedroom up center that is just a few steps up from the ground floor, with an invisible downstage wall. It’s unusual to have such a split-level effect in a house, and unusual to have a child’s bedroom so close to the main living area. But it’s central to the play. This is the bedroom of Becca and Howie’s young son, untouched since his death. It has a warmth of color and decor that Michael Magursky’s lighting highlights and that is lacking in the rest of the neutral-toned space. It’s the empty heart of the home, and the set design makes that achingly evident. Lighting, including a lovely television reflection effect, only enhances the effectiveness.

Rial Ellsworth’s sound design includes evocative scene-setting music that adds to the somber momentum of the production. Kathy Ellsworth’s props and Jane Kroessig’s costumes help center the piece in reality, letting us know the first act takes place in February, and the second act in May.

As in any production, though, it’s the acting and the directorial shaping of the acting that make the script work. There’s not a bad performance in the bunch. Chase Alford, in the relatively small role of Jason, and Matthew Myers, in the unflashy role of Howie, give the most overtly emotional performances, providing a wonderful balance to the more controlled performances of the women and furnishing an emotional groundwork on which the framework of the play is laid. It’s perhaps not what one would expect - the men wearing their emotions on their sleeves much more than the women - but it makes perfect sense in the world of David Lindsay-Abaire’s play.

The women are excellent too. Patricia French and Cara Mantella have proven themselves time and again as dependably able actors, and here they do nothing to tarnish their sterling reputations. (But Ms. Mantella might want to play a non-pregnant female in her next role, after "Clybourne Park" and this; three pregnancies in a few months’ time is enough for a while!) Mary Saville, as Becca, is the revelation here, though. The role requires someone who can portray emotional distance, while still getting the audience to sense the emotions across that distance. She is perfect for the role. I faulted her in "Philadelphia, Here I Come!" for not being big and lovable enough as Aunt Lizzy, but the reserve and inner resolve needed for Becca is a glove-tight fit. I believed every moment of her journey.

When all the elements come together in a show, the director has to be lauded. So prepare forthwith for lauds and praises to be heaped at the feet of Dina Shadwell. She brought "Miracle on South Division Street" to miraculous life earlier in the year at Stage Door Players, and she’s performed the same with "Rabbit Hole." It’s a pleasure to be in the theatre and be taken on a journey with author, director, and cast, even when the journey is not an altogether happy one. And "Rabbit Hole" at Stage Door Players is just that sort of pleasure. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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