Two days after seeing the performance of Rabbit Hole, I’m still thinking about it. I did not expect to be so consumed by a play.
It’s a testament to the talent of the five member cast and to director David Pera who assembled them. They have created a tightly knit family unit bound together by the same tragedy, each dealing with it as best he can. They are going through the motions of living their lives, but each simmers under the surface with unresolved grief. That these five fine actors can relay the shattered emotions of each character is remarkable.
Mary DeBoer portrays a mother consumed by the overwhelming need to control everything she can while her life reels out of control. Her performance is a strong contrast to Dean Perrine as the father who secretly controls his inner self, hiding his impotent rage. Barbara Baker Malangoni, as the grandmother, is the rock for her daughter but is never given permission to grieve as she needs to. Carly Smith, the aunt, and Jacob Barber, the teenage driver, personalize self-destruction, guilt, and a desperate need for forgiveness. All characters represent different aspects of the grieving process, and none can either understand or help anyone else.
This performance is truly remarkable. The audience on opening night was mesmerized. For anyone who has lived long enough to lose a family member, this play will hit home. It’s personal.
-Jane Sanders, CST patron