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Grief, hope play out in Rabbit 'Hole' - 5 out of 5 Stars

By Joanne Greco Rochman, Republican-American


Becca and Howie Corbett are a typical young married couple with a small child. When a tragic accident befalls their young son, grief takes hold of them so profoundly that their marriage and lives are drained almost to empty.

The strain of that loss has affected every aspect of their lives and they look at the people once famliar to them in a different way. The Theatre Works cast brings out the best of David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole."

The title is most appropriate since it reminds us of Alice in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Alice falls into a rabbit hole and enters a strange new world. So, too, the couple in Lindsay-Abaire's play fall into a strange world of loss and sorrow. Interestingly enough, it is also through a science fiction story about a black hole that Becca climbs out of her depression.

Jackie Decho-Hohm, as Becca, presents a strong-willed, successful, woman who has be- come undone by the loss of her child. Her marriage is taking a direct hit, since Becca cannot and will not move forward after the tragedy. Kevin Sosbe portrays Howie, Becca's husband, who is distraught but wants desperately to move forward.

Becca's mother (Nat) and sister (Izzy) cannot persuade Becca to get beyond the grief. One of the most tender moments in the New Milford production is when Nat, played with genuine sensitivity by Sonnie Osborne, holds a pair of the child's sneakers close to her heart.

It's a memorable moment that found people in the audience holding back tears. Heather Nicolson as Izzy breathes comic relief into the story and lightens the despair prevalent in the couple's home.

Rob Onorato plays the teenage boy Jason, who accidentally killed the child who ran in front of his car. The ensemble performs well together, and under Susan Pettibone's sensitive direction brings the grief of losing a child to its full breadth of sadness before hope appears.

Erik D. Diaz's set design is realistically exquisite, especially accented by Glenn Couture's set dressing.

With a kitchen featuring a working sink, a full refrigerator, wellstocked cabinets, and a window that looks out into a wooded landscape, no detail has been overlooked.

Richard Pettibone's lighting and sound design takes the spotlight when flashes of a home video play across the stage.

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