2010-04-16 / Community

‘Rabbit Hole’ Kicks Off 2010 RTC Season

Rabbit Hole cast. Rabbit Hole cast. Last weekend the Rockaway Theatre Company officially kicked off its 2010 performance season with a stunning production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s award winning drama, “Rabbit Hole.” A few years ago the RTC began to expand its season to include a minimum of five productions. As part of that expansion they pledged to add at least one meaningful dramatic production to the RTC yearly repertoire. The present production of “Rabbit Hole” more than ably fulfills this pledge.

The play focuses on a young couple who have sustained an unfathomable loss. It explores the ways we deal with grief, both individually and as families. The 2006 Broadway production of “Rabbit Hole” received a multitude of accolades from theater critics. It featured an amazing ensemble cast which included Cynthia Nixon as Becca, John Slattery as Howie and Tyne Daly in the role of Nat. The play garnered a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award nomination for best play. Nixon was awarded a Tony for Best Actress.

Jill Cornell (Becca), Tracy Willet (Izzy) and Valerie O’Hara (Nat). Jill Cornell (Becca), Tracy Willet (Izzy) and Valerie O’Hara (Nat). The Rockaway Theatre Company production of “Rabbit Hole,” a spokesperson for the company says, features an equally amazing ensemble cast: Ryan Max Berman as Jason, Tracy Willet as Izzy, Valerie O’Hara as Nat, Brandon McCluskey as Howie and Jill Cornell as Becca. “Together, these five amazing actors,” the spokesperson continues, “elevate this production to a level far beyond anything that can be seen in community theatre anywhere else today. Their moving portrayals bring us to tears on several occasions and while we cannot help but be drawn into the depths of their despair and anguish, there are also moments of laughter and even hope. While every member of the cast turns in a superb performance, Jill Cornell’s portrayal of Becca is truly a tour de force which is indeed worthy of individual mention.”

Becca meets with Jason. Becca meets with Jason. RTC wishes also to give kudos to Director Frank Caiati for skillfully bringing playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s vision to the stage and to the technical staff who assisted him in this excellent accomplishment. Before us is the beautiful, but bleak house in Larchmont, which provides the backdrop for a tragic accident and the painful healing process which ensues. This impressive set was designed and dressed by Caiati and constructed by RTC’s incomparable Tech Director, Tony Homsey, and his amazing team. The stage is bathed in soft lights created by lighting director Andrew Woodbridge and periodically dimmed and brightened by the characters themselves. Sound operator Cat McEntee is also to be commended for seamlessly weaving sound effects into the action of the play, as well as cuing the beautiful and haunting music which connects the scenes.
Brandon McCluskey, Valerie O’Hara, and Jill Cornell. Brandon McCluskey, Valerie O’Hara, and Jill Cornell.
Becca (Jill Cornell), Howie (Brandon McCluskey), Jason (Ryan Max Berman). Becca (Jill Cornell), Howie (Brandon McCluskey), Jason (Ryan Max Berman).
Becca (Jill Cornell), and Izzy (Tracy Willet). Becca (Jill Cornell), and Izzy (Tracy Willet).

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