Beckys New Car Tickets
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Beckys New Car
Becky's New Car is an amazing comedy by Steven Dietz. It was approved by ACT as an American Stage program thanks to a bighearted grant from a faithful Board member as a gift to his wife.
As it turns out, it was an equally wholehearted gift to Seattle audiences and to the first-rate company of actors. Everything about Becky's New Car was irreproachably professional. Becky is described as a middling-forty year-old wife and mother.
She has a fair job at a new car dealership, and she believes that there must be something more to life. Perhaps she felt the need to head out on the freeway of life and let her hair blow in the wind.
Becky meets a man loaded with money and loneliness. Mr. Flood approaches the dealership one evening when all the usual salesmen have gone. He convinces Becky to sell him a bunch of cars to give to his employees as a bonus.
Just by slightly misrepresenting the fact that her decent but mundane husband, a roofer named Joe, is still alive she stirs this widower's interest. Next, they are entangled in a web of deceit. This is only complicated by her on and Flood's pampered daughter.
When the whole affair unravels, Becky tries to flee by driving away from it all. However, she discovers that all roads lead back to the life she has already chosen to live. Her husband words are echoed here: You cant go back to where you were before and just start over from there. But you can go on.
Kimberly King is a huge reason why the audience feels so close to Becky. She is so unaffected and straight-forward that we instantly see ourselves in her, and her life is like ours.
Dietz breaks the fourth wall at many important points, and makes it clear that the audience is aware of this theatrical process. Dietz also allows us to accept the artifice of performance.
Ms. King performs the role work with the easy manner in which she crosses the stage in moving from her home-life to her work-life. She makes all the mechanics of the comedy seem organic and her actions simply human.
Charles Leggett allows her husband Joe an amazing balance, being just a casual guy and nobody's fool. Under all the ostentation is a man who is always exactly who he is. Michael Winters is as brilliant as the wealthy Mr. Flood, never making his fortune anything more than the particular circumstances of his own life, certainly never what drives him.
The scenes between Joe and Mr. Flood, after Becky's deception is unraveled, were among the richest and most rewarding of the play.
We get to see two men dealing with each other not as rich and poor, but as men who both have an interest in the same woman, decidedly unbalanced but both genuine. One of Mr. Dietz's big achievements in this comedy is to make his characters representative of people in a particular situation, never types.
The son and daughter were perfectly adequate, with Benjamin Harris reveling in the sons deliciously annoying skill at finding the proper footnote, the psycho-babble term for everything going on between people; behavior which he can always label but never, never understand.
Anna-Lisa Carlson as the daughter Kenni Flood was a bit under-written, but competently performed. Suzanne Bouchard gave her usual distinction to the role of Ginger, a wealthy heiress who waited too long to marry and now finds herself without fortune or spouse.
R. Hamilton Wright has a brilliant turn as the salesman colleague whose own life is as broken as anyone else's in the play, and who shows far less likelihood of being able to repair it.