Lots of laughs with B2B show

Becky’s New Car highlights the comedic talents of new and veteran actors

Candice Appleby plays Becky Foster in a scene with Nick Symons

BRENDA GOUGH

reporter@pqbnews.com

It’s summer theatre Island style and Bard to Broadway (B2B) is offering two shows throughout the summer season on the stage of the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach July 9 to August 18.

The repertory theatre company kicks off it’s 13th season with two sensational shows; the smash hit Broadway musical Hello Dolly and Becky’s New Car.

Hello Dolly has become one of the most enduring musical theatre hits enjoying three Broadway revivals and international success since it was first produced in 1964.

Becky’s New Car is a thoroughly original comedy by Steven Dietz with serious overtones, a devious and delightful romp down the road not taken and stars Candice Appleby as Becky Foster.

Becky is caught in middle age, middle management and a middling marriage with no prospects for change on the horizon.

She has a good job, a decent home, a regular Joe for a husband and a son whose life revolves around graduate study in psychology and girls.

Working late one night, the millionaire widower Walter Flood — still in mourning and totally inept without his late wife to guide him walks into the car dealership where Becky is employed.

A new vista presents itself and Becky finds herself facing a fork in the road of her life.  The great philosopher Yogi Berra once said:  “When you come to a fork in the road — take it.”   Amid a variety of twists and turns involving both hilarious and touching events, that’s just what Becky does.

Appleby said her character Becky is offered nothing short of a new life and the audience is offered a chance to ride shotgun in a way that most plays wouldn’t dare.

“Becky is a comedy about a woman in a mid life crisis.  She takes her husband and family and workmates along for the ride,” Appleby explained.

She admitted there is a great cast of characters and they have been having a blast at rehearsals.

“There are a lot of layers in the play and we have had some very good laughs.”

Appleby who has been very active in the local community theatre scene has been stage managing with Echo Players as well as Vancouver Island Opera and B2B, but this year she decided that her acting needed to get off of the back burner.

“I decided to go back to my acting roots and audition for a part and lo and behold I got the lead,” she confessed.

Appleby said she is thoroughly enjoying the process of doing a comedy.

“There is a lot of effort expended in the process … but the process is enriching and the performance is the icing on the cake,” she acknowledged.

Director Don Harper who is in his seventh season with B2B said there is a fantastic story behind the play.

He said in 2006 Charles Staadecker of Seattle had the idea of commissioning a play for his wife Benita’s 60th birthday.  He brought the idea to the ACT Theatre company and they loved the idea and wanted to have such a commissioning program for quite some time but hadn’t worked out the details.

ACT wanted a well known playwright to kick off the program and asked Steven Dietz who had worked with the theatre for many years to do it.

The only caveat was that Staadecker asked that the play not be dark.

The rest is history and the Staadeckers have attended 24 productions of Becky’s New Car across the United States.

Harper said Staadecker is so thrilled that the B2B Theatre Society is producing the play at the Village Theatre that he sent them an e-mail wishing them all the best.

In the letter, Staadecker pointed out that there are now 19 other couples or groups who have commissioned plays and they are having the time of their life.

“We have learned so much about your profession and had no idea a play could be interpreted in so many variations … each with its own insights and character,” said Staadecker in his letter to Harper, and added, “We are thrilled Becky is being produced at your theatre … it will bring much laughter and tears.”

Performances of Hello Dolly and Becky’s New Car are at 7:30 pm each evening.  Most Sunday afternoons feature a matinee at 2 pm.

If you purchase at least one ticket for each show (Dolly and Becky) before July 9, your name will be entered into a draw to receive our early-bird prize — a season pass for two to Echo Players’ five up-coming productions in 2012-13.

Tickets may be ordered by phone at 250-752-4470.  Leave a message and your call will be returned within 24 hours.

For walk-in sales, the B2B box office will be open at the Village Theatre Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

You can check out the 2012 schedule on line at www.b2btheatre.com.

 

 

 

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