Robert Sean Campbell Denee Lewis Becky's New Car Limelight South Valley Civic Theatre
Robert Sean Campbell (performing as Joe Foster) and Denee Lewis (Becky Foster) work through a scene from “Becky’s New Car,” which opens Aug. 4 at the Gilroy Center for the Arts. Photo: Elizabeth Mandel
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Andrew Cummings predicts a spirited discussion will take place among audience members as they walk out of the theater following the curtain call for “Becky’s New Car.”

Did Becky Foster, the play’s titular character, choose the right path? Should she have focused on this relationship instead of that one?

“The characters are so real and so relatable that it’s impossible not to take sides,” said Cummings, who is directing the play. “There’s an enticing ambiguity that looks a lot like real life: there are right choices and wrong choices, but just enough gray that everyone who sees the play walks out with a different take.”

After seeing Limelight by South Valley Civic Theatre’s “Becky’s New Car,” which opens Aug. 4 and runs select days through Aug. 27 at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, Cummings said he hopes the audience walks away inspired to reflect on their own lives and determine if they are truly living or just going through the motions.

Foster, described as being “caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage,” meets a grief-stricken millionaire Walter Flood, who offers her a new life in this play written by Steven Dietz.

Cummings praised the “incredible” cast of seven, “who were all too ready to find the fire in each relationship.” He also gave kudos to assistant director Christy Wright, who he said “has a special talent for finding the key moments between two characters that need to blossom on stage.”

Such a factor is important in any play, but especially so in “Becky’s New Car.” Cummings said the main character’s primary struggle is based entirely on relationships, and which one should she dedicate the most time to: her husband or Flood?

Denee Lewis Rob Christopher Becky's New Car Limelight South Valley Civic Theatre
Denee Lewis (Becky Foster) and Rob Christopher (Walter Flood) are two of the main characters in Limelight by South Valley Civic Theatre’s “Becky’s New Car.” Photo: Elizabeth Mandel

Denee Lewis, who performs as Foster, said she aims to create a “realistic, imperfect character” that every audience member can find something to relate to. 

“To do this, I find aspects of Becky’s life that I can connect to such as her day-to-day challenges of being a working mother and wife,” she said. “I also relate to Becky’s desire to find happiness in a life that is seemingly fulfilled, but unknowingly lacks an excitement she never dreamed possible.”

Rob Christopher, playing as Flood, said to convey an authentic performance, he puts himself in the shoes of his character to determine how he would react to each situation.

Both actors said the small, intimate nature of the play and Limelight stage allows a tighter camaraderie among the cast and crew, with Lewis noting that the cast has had many “in-depth discussions” about each of their characters.

“You become a small band of brothers and sisters leaning on, caring about, and helping each other create the best outcome that you can,” Christopher said.

While “Becky’s New Car” is a comedy, it also tackles difficult subjects with humor and compassion, Christopher said, which helps the audience get further engaged with the material.

And another benefit of the setting? The audience can chat with the cast at the end of the show.

“We hope everyone will join us before the show by ordering dinner or bringing their own, and by hanging out with us at the end of the evening for a friendly debate over drinks at the bar,” Cummings said.

“Becky’s New Car” runs Fridays through Sundays from Aug. 4-27 at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, 7341 Monterey St. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. For information and tickets, visit

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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