The Car Plays: Jersey Turnpike

As a Jersey girl, I’ve heard all the obsessive talk comparing our car culture to that of L.A. Our traffic jams are longer! Our vehicles are bigger! You call those potholes?

After seeing five vignettes at Moving Arts’ “The Car Plays” at REDCAT, though, it occurred to me that this environmental piece devised by Paul Stein should pack its trunk and motor on over to the Garden State. Jersey’s a conducive setting for staging a work where drivers also do some of their best acting, especially gestural.

Hey, I’m talkin’ here!

Bring your kick-ass “Car Plays” to New Jersey, Mr. Stein. We’ve got the parking lots — plenty are abandoned — and you wouldn’t even need professional actors; the locals are colorful enough. Isn’t The Situation’s contract up?

Here are a few tweaks to consider when making your production more palatable for Jersey sensibilities:

— Subpoena the audience.

— Assigning team names like “Route,” “Avenue” and “Blvd” to groups of spectators should be revised to “Construction Ahead,” “This Lane Closed” and “Whassup.”

— Play-goers can jaywalk with abandon on their way to the site.

— One of the playlets, “Shampooed,” has a bobblehead Steelers player on the dash. Very wrong. Opt for a CD hanging from the rearview. Mall hair required for the actresses.

— In L.A., a show sponsor, FlowerPower, distributes nifty vehicle vases to participants. Solicit Little Trees fresheners or EZPass for Jersey swag.

— More bumper stickers are needed on vehicles: “Honk for Hoboken,” “I Brake for Diners,” “What Would Bruce Do?”

— Tolls are collected from show-goers before they enter each car. Deal with it. The “car hops” have to subsidize that rental down the shore.

— Plays in the middle lane will move slower than the others because the car in front is from New York or Pennsylvania. Spectators are also permitted to hassle anyone in that car.

— Blacktop, not red carpet, for opening night.


  1. For Jersey Girl Linda — we would love to perform in the Garden State! Diner parking lots, rest stop areas, or your side of the George Washington Bridge. Help us find a way and we’ll make a traveling road trip. Thanks for coming and your comments.

    • Linda Fowler says:

      You’ll need extra room in the garage — everyone drives to the theater in the ‘burbs. “Brake” a leg!