A Hop Through the Rabbit Hole at Carnation City Players
Jodi and Aaron Wolfe as Becca and Howie Corbett in Carnation City Players’ Rabbit Hole
I had the pleasure of attending opening night of Rabbit Hole at Carnation City Players Friday evening. Rabbit Hole is a play written by David Lindsay-Abaire and was a 2007 Pulitzer Prize recipient for drama. Although my personal tastes tend to gravitate to the generally happy musical genre, to say that I enjoyed tonight’s performance at the historic Firehouse Theatre in Alliance was an understatement. I had to repent for usual thinking–that “who really needs more drama in their lives right now?” However, CCP’s small cast presented a moving, vivid, and real portrayal of a family finding themselves after a tragic accident, and this particular group presented a story that was thought provoking and real which in the end provided hope. Don’t we all need to share in a little hope right now?
The play centers around Becca and Howie, two young parents played admirably by real-life husband and wife Jodi and Aaron Wolfe. Aaron is a natural leading man, tall and handsome, who commendably plays his role. Howie is a somewhat sad and weary man who wears a confident and comedic facade attempting to shield his family from additional hurt. Having worked with and witnessed Aaron on a few occasions in the past, I was aware of his singing and movement abilities, but I was not prepared for were his polished and graceful acting chops and raw emotion. Well done sir.
Jodi Wolfe, who admits that this is her first time on stage, even her first time auditioning since the sixth grade, portrayed Becca magically. Jodi attributes the success of her performance to relating to the character on a personal level, having in real life experienced a tragic incident with her daughter’s health that took a toll on their family. I would be remiss not to mention however that she also possesses an awesome natural timing and acting skill that helped propel this show from good to great.
Robert Brand’s portrayal of the youth Jason was crafty and sweet while Jessie Canavan (sister IZZY) and Missy Brand (mom NAT) provided regular and natural comic relief. The two’s subtle comedy made the plays’ 105-minute runtime (not including a 15 minute intermission) extremely palatable. I was left wanting more.
Director Lee Lavery’s excellent stage blocking and creative use of a multi-tiered single unit set created beautiful vignettes to showcase various aspects a coping family’s life after loss. I was extremely impressed by the panache and polish on this reasonably wordy script, especially during the overlapping natural dialog at the table during a birthday cake scene.
It is a show not to be missed.
You can check out one of the four remaining performances (Sat 4/1/2017 at 8:00 PM, Fri 4/7/2017
at 8:00 PM, Sat 4/8/2017 at 8:00 PM or Sun 4/9/2017 at 2:30 PM by calling the box office at (330) 821-8712 or by reserving tickets online