Rabbit Hole at the New Century Theatre

David Lindsay-Abaire has something of a line in notably troubled females. At the heart of his breakthrough play Fuddy Meers is an amnesiac who awakens every day with her mind a complete blank; Wonder of the World features a runaway wife on a belated search for a self; and Kimberly Akimbo focuses on a waifish sixteen-year old girl with a rare disease that speeds the aging process (she is played by an actress in her sixties). Lindsay-Abaire has a deft hand with wacky comedies of unmoored identity, at times reminiscent of Craig Lucas and Christopher Durang. In Rabbit Hole, however, the playwright is on a different track (and a critically successful one: Rabbit Hole won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007). The emphasis on the hearts and minds of female characters remains, but the trouble that moves them – and the action of the play – is more prosaic, and less conducive to jokes. It’s the accidental death of a small child. The new production by Northampton’s New Century Theatre makes the most of the play’s strengths but can’t quite overcome its weaknesses.

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