Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Rabbit Hole" redux

We went, at Ben and Marissa's urging, to a great performance of "Rabbit Hole" on Friday night. It is a powerful play about the accidental death of a New York couple’s 4-year old son, their relationship with each other and with her sister and mother afterward, the affects of the hanging death of the young mother's heroin addict brother at age 30, and the remorse and need for connection of the young teenager whose car accidentally hit the little boy as he ran out onto the street after his dog.

When I first saw the play two years ago at the Geffen I thought the playwright, David Lindsay-Abaire got the emotions and actions just right – how the couple grieved in different ways, and how the affects of the death of a child never goes away. The grandmother's explanation of the aftermath of her 30-year old son's death is phenomenally on target – she said it was like a brick that one carries around and kind of gets used to, but its weight, its terrible weight, every so often comes into the forefront, similar to being kicked in the gut, and can’t be brushed aside. Also, right on is the issue of keeping or disposing of mementoes. The play starts out with the young mother folding her little dead boy's just washed clothes to get them ready to give to Good Will. All this is done with serious, sad, and funny dialogue. It is really brilliant and well recognized for being so with the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2007.

One of the scenes that resonates most strongly with me now was with the teenage boy and the young mother. As he told her about his prom experience the night before, she, mostly cool and composed, begins to weep. I know she was weeping because her little boy missed his chance to go to his prom. I still weep now because my boy, Paul, has also missed so much.

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