Review by Michael Piscitelli
Film and theatre are two drastically different art forms. Thinking you can do one and can transfer what you know to the other will often lead to… less than effective media. I’m going to be frank and say that I was unimpressed with the story-telling of this show. It honestly felt like I was watching a Sears drama festival play. For context, the Sears Drama Festival is a high school drama competition that has several different school districts put on plays or scenes to be adjudicated and potentially win prizes.
The whole script seemed better suited as a slice-of-life web series than something that is staged, especially with their desire to keep everything on stage hyper-realistic.
Writing purely as someone who has had to scrounge for money where there is none, to make a play work in the long term, you don’t need food in a play. It can be a prop, but don’t eat it. Drinks you can get away with and you don’t even need to use real liquids. When you add food into the mix, then you are adding unnecessary time, movement and waste that adds up in the rehearsal hall and on the stage. Rabbit Hole was very much so a photorealistic take on a small family that was struggling to deal with a loss.
Accents. Accents are difficult to do at the best of times. There should be reasons behind it. Unless it is the actor’s natural accent, there should be none in the play. Why the play was based in New York City, I have no idea. Why only one of the two daughters had a Brooklyn accent, I couldn’t even imagine. Courtney Deelen who plays ‘Becca the grieving mother, was the only one of their family who did not have an accent. Her sister Izzy, played by Lindsey Middleton and their mother Nat, played by Rhea Akler were about as Brooklyn as they come.
Bad theatre is still theatre and I know a great deal of people who like seeing bad theatre. They get a weird sense of enjoyment out of poking fun at the absurd holes in logic. They ridicule the unusual stylistic choices that are made, or even the fact that the director thought it would be a good idea to have a random bag of chips in a shopping bag to make it seem like they went shopping. Regardless, bad theatre and poor choices are everywhere in the theatre world. If you’d like to go see Rabbit Hole, it will be playing in the east end at Red Sandcastle Theatre until February 11th.