Monday, October 19, 2015


Can there be any more devastating loss than that of a child? A time table for healing is simply not available and the hole in your heart may never mend. The pain may eventually lessen after months and years but it will always be there as a reminder of what you have lost. For David Lindsay-Abaire, it has become the sensitive and gut-wrenching heart of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Rabbit Hole" being compassionately staged at the Chestnut Street Playhouse in Norwich until  Sunday, October 25.          .

Come meet Becca and Howie who are dealing with grief and guilt in equal measures. What if she had not run inside to answer the phone, what if he had made sure the gate was locked, what if he hadn't brought home the puppy, would Danny still be alive today?  What role did Becca's sister play in calling Becca to complain about their mom?  Could Jason, the boy who hits Danny, have been driving too fast?  There is enough guilt for everyone to share.

Amy Kozumplik Kirby displays her agony as Becca and relives each moment of Danny's life as she folds each jersey and cradles each stuffed animal.  For Andrew Houlihan's Howie, the grief is a little better disguised but it is just there under the surface, ready to spring out with the slightest provocation. When Becca's sister Izzy, a flaky, irresponsible yet endearing Gita Hassin, announces she is pregnant and unmarried, it takes mother Nat, a conciliatory Linda MacCluggage to play umpire and restore a semblance of balance in the household.

When teenage driver Jason, an apologetic Alec Bandzes, arrives at their door, it forces the family to confront the issues that need to be dealt with honestly and openly. Scott Kegler directs this fine ensemble cast as it deals with issues no family should have to face.  Don't forget to bring Kleenex. An inviting set designed by William Corriveau lends itself to the story.

For tickets ($20), call the Chestnut Street Playhouse, 24 Chestnut Street, Norwich at 860-886-2378  or online at   Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

A special Cabaret evening is planned for Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m when Julie Reyburn brings her award-winning musical show FATE IS KIND to the playhouse. Tickets are $45 and include pre-show appetizers.

Stroll with Becca and Howie through the minefield of grief they are suffering and help guide them to the healing place where they need to be, together.

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