THE BECKY SHOW
nytheatre.com review by Jaene Leonard
Rebecca Hardin-Thrift probably shocked her family when she married and
took the hyphen with her husband’s last name. Chances are, Trash don’t
do no hyphens. The Becky Show, playing at Los Kabayitos, is a
bittersweet one-woman tale of growing up Trash in a poor cotton-mill
North Carolina town. During her hour-long show, Hardin-Thrift charms us
with her angelic smile and southern drawl as she sings the praises of
sweet iced tea (the elixir of Trash), touts the power of bacon grease (ain’t
nothin in the world that don’t taste better with a li’l grease) and
shows slides of her wayward family, painting for us pictures of tragic
lives with her story-telling skills and sharp wit.
August 15, 2002
The Becky Show is complexly crafted, bidding us closer with funny tips on making it as Trash, (have custody of all your babies) and then hitting us over the head with the deeper desperation of the characters we come to know through Wal-Mart portraits projected on the screen. Hardin-Thrift is brave in her honesty, coolly doling out her family’s tragedies in humorous quips. But once or twice, she stops—as if her own words were transporting her momentarily to the shotgun house where she grew up and, as a child, often ate fried potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The show is an exploration of the truth-in-stereotypes about growing up poor by someone who knows—a talented woman who made it out of the slums seemingly unscathed. One wonders how she acquired the know-how, though her arm’s-length delivery of the more difficult material provides a little insight. Hardin-Thrift holds the stage well, however, and dives in fully for the laughs she gets. This show is worth a see and, with a just a bit more development, could be an excellent vehicle for her.