With Becks, directors Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell have crafted an understated musical that really works, thanks to Alyssa Robbins’s heartfelt music and standout performances from the cast. Brooklyn singer-songwriter Becks (Lena Hall) has everything she wants: a moderately successful music career, a cute girlfriend, and a move to Los Angeles on the horizon. But after a brutal betrayal, she loses everything and moves back into her mom’s house in St. Louis, where her room remains unchanged from her teen years.
Becks, played with a devil-may-care slacker attitude by Broadway vet Hall, is the type of thirtysomething who leaps before she looks, which clashes with the very mindful lifestyle her pious mother (Christine Lahti) has crafted since her children left home. As Becks seeks refuge outside the house, her (first and last) high school boyfriend (Dan Fogler) serves as her friend, whiskey-pouring sage, and patron — the bar he owns doubles as a place for her to gig and earn tips. Soon, someone catches her eye: Elyse (Mena Suvari), the bi-curious wife of her high school adversary. When Elyse hires Becks for guitar lessons, things get complicated.
Hall’s performance in particular is strong, both as a singer and actor, and her chemistry with Lahti’s nun-turned-mom adds an intimate, barbed layer of family drama. Unfortunately, the story stumbles when it comes to surprises: Becks runs headlong into a predictable set of problems in this story of arrested development.
Directed by Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell
Blue Fox Entertainment
Opens February 9, Village East Cinema
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 8, 2018