> Colin Thomas
When Rabbit Hole starts, it’s been eight months since Becca and Howie’s four-year-old son Danny was hit by a car and killed. The driver was a teenager named Jason Willette.
In its diligent examination of the emotional impact of Danny’s death on his parents and extended family—as well as on Jason—Rabbit Hole can feel like an illustrated grief manual, but it gives the actors lots of complicated and high-stakes emotions to play and this company finds considerable success with it.
Playing Becca’s mom, Nat, Linda Darlow is as working-class authentic as second-hand polyester. Darlow’s pushy, witty Nat is also beautifully emotionally bruised. Braden Lock brings similar responsiveness to Jason. And Lesli Brownlee contributes nuance and comic spin as Becca’s sister Izzy. Weirdly, Lori Watt’s Becca doesn’t share her family’s New York accent, but Watt’s fearlessness fuels this production’s most moving passage.
The only hole in the cast is Chris Nowland, who plays Howie with so little internal tension that, when Howie yells, he’s just…yelling.
Remaining performances at the Vancity Culture Lab on September 15 (9:40 p.m.), and 16 (3:30 p.m.)
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