Headliners: Ghost Light Theater’s ‘Becky’s New Car’; ‘John Williams Film Night’ at Tanglewood

Published: 8/11/2016 1:58:57 PM

A vehicular affair

Called “a smart, comic cruise through the perils of middle-aged longing and regret” (Variety), Steven Dietz’s “Becky’s New Car” takes place on four stage sets at once: the living room of the house where Becky resides with her grad-student son and her contractor husband of 28 years, Joe; Becky’s office cubicle at the Bill Buckley Lexus-Saturn-Nissan-Mitsubishi dealership where she works; Becky’s car; and the terrace of an estate owned Walter Flood, a widowed millionaire billboard baron who comes to the dealership late one night to buy nine cars to give to his employees as gifts.

An offhand comment leads Flood to understand that Becky is a widow; she hesitates to correct him — and soon Becky is rushing from set to set to carry on a clandestine affair that’s not supposed to be clandestine because she’s supposed to be a widow, etc.

“When a woman says she wants a new car, it means she wants a new life,” Becky confides to the audience, members of which are also asked to help install toilet paper in the bathroom, have a beer and help Becky get dressed as part of the playwright’s effort to induct theatergoers more intimately into Becky’s dilemma. As DC Theater Scene puts it: “ ‘Becky’s New Car’ is a play about a nice person who does a terrible thing for no good reason, and the great trick of it is that it compels us to like that person notwithstanding her bad act.”

The Northampton-based Ghost Light Theater performs at Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St., Holyoke, Fri., August 12 and 19 at 8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 13, 5:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.; and Thurs., Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. $10. ghostlightmass.org or facebook.com/ghostlightmass

Movie music

Aside from the traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven’s 9th, one of the most popular concerts at Tanglewood is the annual “John Williams Film Night,” this year set for Saturday at 8 p.m. Joined by co-conductor Richard Kaufman, Williams will take the podium to lead the Boston Pops in a two-part program: The first half (lead by Kaufman) will feature Williams’ music for iconic flight sequences from such films as “Hook,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Superman.” The second half (conducted by Williams) will include the composer’s themes for “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” as well as themes from the franchise's latest film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Are you more visual than aural? Hold out until Aug. 26 when Tanglewood will be screening the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, with Williams’ epic score performed live by the Boston Pops. 8 p.m. $22-$124. bso.org

— Dan DeNicola

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