“Becky’s New Car”, written by Steven Dietz and directed by Jim Crisp, Jr., opened Theatre Macon’s 27th season. As I had never attended aTheatre Macon show, I was not sure what to expect. I was walking into an unfamiliar atmosphere to see a show of which I had never heard. When the performance was over, however, I walked out of the theatre thoroughly impressed and entertained.
The atmosphere was friendly and inviting. The set added to the ambiance, as everything was already in place. There were a number of detailed props strewn across the stage, yet the set had a clear visual effect and felt very spacious. The stage design cleverly represented four different settings at the same time: Becky’s living room, her office, her car and a terrace. This eliminated the need for scene changes and, aside from one minor unclear transition, made for smooth and quick scene progressions. The set was easy on the eyes with its delightful furnishings.
The show opened with Becky’s entrance. Becky (Rebecca) Foster, a middle-aged wife, mother and car dealership employee, proved to be an eccentric character within the first five minutes, relating with the audience instantly. She went into the details of a typical day in the life of Becky and how she dreamed about something new and exciting. Her wish came true when life took an unexpected turn and she had to make some decisions which ultimately lead to a tangled mess of lies. Intertwined with hilarious irony, the pleasantly predictable plot kept the audience engaged while confronting serious life issues. As the plot unraveled and the story came full circle, the resolution made for an entertaining feel-good experience.
The cast of seven was well-selected group, and each portrayed their characters with engaging consistency. Everyone had fantastic comedic timing, and any line slips were covered professionally and almost unnoticeably. Portraying Becky was Martha Malone, a professor at Mercer’s Townsend School of Music. Malone played her character with engaging wit and likeability. Her lively expressions, coupled with charming audience interaction, made for a spotlight performance. Each actor is to be commended for his or her performance, but the chemistry between the family characters was especially natural. Michael Jared Carson (Joe Foster, Becky’s husband) and Phillip Hebert (Becky’s college-age son, Chris Foster) both gave humorous and relatable performances.
Another notable performance was that of Matt Roche as Becky’s coworker, Steve Singletary. Roche played every detail of the quirky character down to his walk, in addition to his adequately disheveled appearance.
The run time of 2.5 hours was longer than I expected or planned for. Even so, the show was humorous and entertaining. I left the theatre feeling as if I had been part of the story, riding shotgun in Becky’s new car.