“When a woman says she needs new shoes, what she really wants is a new job. When she says she wants a new house, she wants a new husband. And when she says she wants a new car, she wants a new life.”
Becky Foster (played by Candice Appleby) shares the phrase in the opening scene of Bard to Broadway’s rendition of Becky’s New Car, as she chats away with the audience about her life.
We learn this middle-aged woman works long hours at a car dealership, and lives a fairly average, fairly boring life with her husband and 26-year-old son.
Appleby impressively and easily makes the audience feel like one of her chums as she regales us with her petty problems while offering drinks and enlisting help with chores.
David Bigelow gives a spirited performance as Becky’s husband Joe, who seems loyal and sweet, although he bugs her about working too much.
Chris, her son, is an average self-centered twenty-something, that keeps her at arms length of his true life. A psychology graduate student, he’s got some interesting and comical explanations for things, and the part is articulated well by Nick Symons.
One night while Becky is working late a wealthy man named Walter Flood (Charlie Whelton) saunters into the office wanting to buy a number of cars.
He’s a bit awkward and bemused and needs Becky’s help, and we learn he hasn’t gotten over the death of his wife. But he takes an instant liking to Becky and somehow in his socially ineptness assumes her husband is also deceased.
She initially tries to correct him, but fails to.
Whelton seems made for the part, and does a flawless job playing the soft-spoken rich guy, despite being his first role on stage. He invites her to come to a party of his and suddenly her life changes directions.
The interaction with the audience really adds anther element to this show., I was even coerced on stage when I looked up from my program to see Candice’s big, pleading eyes in front of me asking “Can you help me?”
“Sure…” I muttered trying desperately to think of any good excuse.
To my horror I had to get on stage with another poor audience sucker.
“If you think I should go to the party raise your hand,” she said.
“Oh, what the hell,” I said, raising my hand.
Of course this meant the other sucker got to go while I had to stay on stage and help her get dressed, wallowing on stage for another few minutes.
The play is greatly enhanced with the hilarious characters Steve (Gary Brown) a car salesman, and Ginger (Marilyn Holt) a previously wealthy gold digger.
These two play their roles with style and grace and have no problem garnering plenty of laughs. Bryna Kennedy also does a bang-up job in her role as Walter’s wise and emotional daughter.
Although the play is a comedy it has some serious and thoughtful moments and keeps the audience interested and engaged throughout.
Don’t miss Becky’s New Car at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach playing until August 18.
Catch Bard to Broadway’s other production this summer, the smash-hit broadway musical Hello, Dolly! playing until August 11.
For tickets stop by the Village Theatre box office, phone 250-752-4470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For prices and more information visit www.b2btheatre.com.