Photo by Marni Hack
Sarah Zakaria (left) of Dearborn as Becca, Roberta Shortt of Livonia as Nat and Kori Bielaniec of Westland as Izzy appear in David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole,” the recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, at the Players Guild of Dearborn, 21730 Madison. For tickets or more information call 313-561-TKTS or go to www.playersguildofdearborn.org.
By SUE SUCHYTA
The Players Guild of Dearborn production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole,” blessed with strong direction, a superb, tightly woven script and a talented cast, closes its three-weekend run March 21 to 23 at the group’s theater, 21730 Madison in Dearborn.
Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. For tickets or more information call 313-561-TKTS or go to www.playersguildofdearborn. org.
The show, the recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, explores how family members deal with loss, with lighter moments interspersed within the drama.
Because the show is so well performed as well as intense, those who have recently dealt with the death of someone dear to them might find the emotions too close to the surface. Others, however, should not let the fact that the show is about real people dealing with grief dissuade them from attending the show: It is wonderfully performed and riveting from beginning to end.
The cast includes Sarah Zakaria of Dearborn as Becca, Jeff Flannery of Southgate as Howie, Kori Bielaniec of Westland as Izzy, Roberta Shortt of Livonia as Nat and Kevin Talanges of Dearborn as Jason.
Bielaniec, a Guild favorite, takes full advantage of the opportunity to break awake from the light-hearted, giggly roles she has played in the past to portray a tough, brassy young woman who speaks and acts impulsively and rarely apologizes for it. Audiences will enjoy her performance as the unwed pregnant sister of the grieving mother.
Flannery, also a Guild veteran, successfully breaks new emotional ground as well, as the father mourning the accidental death of his young son, who also is struggling to keep his marriage together in the face of their new reality, which has not yet begun to shift from mourning mode.
Talanges, a former member of the Guildlings, the group’s youth contingent, graduates to a regular season show as the teen who seeks consolation and closure for his own part in the tragedy.
Zakaria, a newcomer, wonderfully portrays the wounded mother still coping with the saddest form of grief with skill and successful pacing.
Shortt, also a newcomer, who plays the family matriarch, capably adds to the believability and layers of the storyline.
Director Lindel Salow’s pacing and blocking keep the story flowing quickly and keeps the audiences hanging onto the storyline. At times one feels like a voyeur watching from the other room. This is not a drama with slow moments that will set your mind wandering – yes, it is that good.
The set design, by Chuck Demske and David Reynolds II, adapted from an original design by Luke Hegel-Cantarella, is wonderfully crafted, especially the kitchen cabinetry, which is original construction. The set’s multi-level construction adds to its versatility and functionality.
It is easy to see why the Broadway production of “Rabbit Hole” received five Tony Award nominations in 2006, including Best Play, and won a Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play Tony for Cynthia Nixon.
PLAYERS GUILD ANNOUNCES ‘KISS ME KATE’ CAST
The Players Guild of Dearborn announced the cast for the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me Kate” Thursday.
The musical runs for four weekends, May 2 to 4, 9 to 11, 16 to 18 and 23 to 25, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
For tickets or more information, call 313-561-TKTS or go to www.playersguildofdearborn. org.
Directed by Valerie Haas of Inkster, with music direction by Paul Abbott of Livonia, “Kiss Me Kate” is a play within a play: It tells the tale of a divorced husband and wife, Fred and Lilli, who reunite to star in a musical
version of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Add two debt-collecting gangsters, a case of mistaken identity, and a colorful supporting cast, and the stage is set for entertainment.
Christine Kapusky of Canton Township is Lilli Vanessi and Kate (Katherine), with Brett Reynolds of Pontiac as Fred Graham and Petruchio.
Dearborn residents in the cast include Meg Kisch plays Lois Lane and Bianca, James Mayne as Bill Calhoun and Lucentio, Terry Crandall as Harry and Baptista, and Phil Walling as Ralph.
Playing the two gangsters are Tom Varitek of Dexter and Marc Walentowicz of Garden City.
Michael Belli of Dearborn is Gremio, Tim Carney of Livonia is Hortensio and Mark Byars of Garden City is General Harrison Howell.
Inez Hernandez of Ecorse is Paul, Anne Morgan of Livonia is Hattie and Butch Plague of Canton Township is Pops and the Padua priest.
Ensemble members include Dee Morrison of Canton Township; Chris Boudreau, Luke Boudreau, Julie Ballantyne Brown, Diane Cliff, Lexie Kaplan and Maddie Kaplan of Dearborn.