"When someone says they want a new car, what they really want is a new life," the title character in The Indiana Repertory Theatre's "Becky' New Car" says at the beginning of the show.
Becky is a married, middle-aged woman with an adult son who lives at home and a job that has her working late hours doing paperwork at a car dealership. A chance encounter forces her outside of her comfort zone and she tries out a different life, but soon her two worlds collide.
The IRT coordinated the premier of this play with Indianapolis' Phoenix Theatre's premier of "Yankee Tavern." Both plays are written by Steven Dietz, providing Indianapolis residents with the unique opportunity to compare two live shows of a playwright's work in the same month.
The set is a versatile, yet intimate living room. You feel as though you've stumbled into someone's home. The show's dialogue is crisp and quick-witted, never lagging for a moment. The second act becomes almost farce-like in its speed and dozens of overlapping situations.
Constance Macy plays the title character with a relaxed conversational air. She interacts with the audience and chats about her life. She feels more like a friend than an actress in this show, which is perfect.
The cast works together with an electric chemistry. They make the show bubble with energy and a believable camaraderie. Michael Shelton as a grieving co-worker with hilarious habits, Robert Neal as the trusting husband, Adriano Gatto as Becky's pontificating son, Nicholas Hormann as a bumbling widower, and the rest of the cast. It's all of them, together, that make this show so outstanding.
From the first scene the cast keeps the audience in stitches. Even though the plot deals with serious issues, the confusion and dissatisfaction that a sedate adult life can bring, it's so funny. The humor that is infused into the entire production is what sets it apart from other morose plays that deal with similar subject matter. "Becky's New Car" is absolutely delightful and I can't wait for my next dose of Dietz work at the Phoenix Theatre next week.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until Sunday, April 11 on IRT's Mainstage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252.
Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com Prices begin at $29 with discounts available for students.
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois Street and southbound Capitol Avenue.
Photos courtesy of Julie Currie Photography