Review: Becky's New Car by Gaslight Baker Theatre
by Randi Spears
Becky’s New Car at the Gaslight Baker Theatre in Lockhart is a beautiful blend of comedy and tragedy. This production takes you gently by the hand and guides you down a winding, heartstring-pulling path of “what ifs.” From the moment the lights come up, Becky Foster invites you to observe her life and hear her story. Throughout it she silently pleads that you not judge her choices too harshly.
Becky has hit midlife, burdened with the roles of wife, mother, and middle manager at a local car dealership. It’s hard when life has fallen into a routine forcing you to accept your fate. Her only escape is the peace she finds in the daily drive of her car to work. Until one night millionaire Walter Flood walks into her office and changes her life and heart forever.
Bridget Farias Gates as Becky Foster is your guide to playwright Steven Dietz’s ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ script. Once a path has been chosen, there’s no going back—or is there? Becky reminds you again and again that even though hindsight is 20/20, leaps of faith are important.
Becky’s son Chris is the epitome of the spoiled kid, still living at home in his late 20’s, a self-styled psychoanalyzing brainiac. Michael Vybiral as Chris makes sure that all lines of questioning are turned back on others in a determined and successful effort to avoid introspection.
You may have some mixed feelings about Becky’s husband Joe, played by David Giminiani Is he attentive to his wife and son? Sometimes. Does he truly listen to either? Not really. Is he just as tired of the same old dull routine as Becky? Absolutely. Giminiani portrays the husband just trying to get through another day in the married life he’s lived for twenty-plus years.
Actress Robyn Gammill’s transformation into the male character Steve, a car salesman at Becky’s office, is incredible. Her convincing manner, vivd personality as Steve and stage makeup give no hint he’s played by a woman. Steve the salesman is the messenger reminding us that life is short and you should cherish what you love. The heartache of loss never dies; it simply fades down to a dull persistent throb.
Don Owen is millionaire widower Walter Flood, a character you won’t soon forget. This quirky man lives with the very vivid memory of his late wife, and your heart goes out to him as you realize he’s lost without her light and guidance. Becky becomes his light in the darkness and believes that “fate” has brought them together.
Fate, they will find, is a harsh mistress.
Walter’s daughter Kenni (Taylor Boyett) is delightful character and helps tie together the characters of Dietz’s script. She knows the life of luxury but craves to break free and relishes the freedom she finds in the most unlikely of people.
Rounding out the cast is heiress Ginger, longtime friend of the Floods, played by Ellen Massey. It’s no surprise when she turns to Walter just as her inherited funds run out. Unfortunately for her, Becky’s in the way. Ellen plays Ginger’s jealousy beautifully.
I could imagine no better stage for this production of “Becky’s New Car” than that of the Gaslight Baker Theatre. The design places audience and stage in an intimate environment, so at times audience members are quite literally a part of the drama. Director Eric Beck, stage manager Alice Gammill-Beck, and technical operator Martin Gammill-Beck have done a magnificent job of bringing Becky’s world to life.
Their design allows seamless transitions between home, office, a beautiful balcony, and the front seat of Becky’s cars. The occasional use of music accents key moments. Lighting is designed to be muted for the most part to stress the dullness of Becky’s office and the cheerlessness of home, contrasting them to the balcony where life always seems brighter and happier.
Eric Beck’s direction of Becky’s New Car made it one of the most memorable plays I have seen. I very much look forward to seeing it again before it closes. The many laugh-out-loud moments alternate with “oh no!” exclamations from the audience as suspense builds. It’s a beautiful telling of a modern tale of love with a message: home is indeed where the heart is.
May 11 - May 26, 2018
216 South Main Street
Lockhart, TX, 78644
Friday & Saturda, 2018 @ 8 pm
Matinees Sunday, May 20 & Saturday, May 26 @ 2 pm
Senior: $12.00 (60+)
Students: $7.00 (up to 24 with ID)
Group Rate: $2.00 off for groups of
10 or more.