The Velocity of Autumn is playing at the Booth Theatre located at 222 West 45th Street. It runs one hour thirty minutes with no intermission. It is an open ended run.
The play premiered at the Arena Stage in Washington, D. C.
Estelle Parsons won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for “Bonnie & Clyde” (1968). She was also nominated for an Academy Award for “Rachel, Rachel” (1968). Estelle made her Broadway debut in 1956 in “Happy Hunting”. Miss Parsons has been nominated for four Tony Awards, “Mornings at Seven” (2002), “Miss Margarida’s War” (1978), “Miss Reardon Drinks a Little” (1971) and “the Seven Descents of Myrtle” (1969). She was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004. Estelle was last seen on Broadway in 2012 “Nice Work If You Can Get It”.
Stephen Spinella won two consecutive Tony Awards for Best Feature Actor in “Angels in America: Millennia” (1992) and Best Actor in “Angels in America: Perestroika” (1994). He was nominated for a Tony Award for “James Joyce’s The Dead” (1990).
The play takes place in Brooklyn, New York. The time is now.
Alexandra (Estelle Parsons) is sitting in a chair dozing off.
The door to the right is block off by a table and chairs. There are explosives everywhere.
A bay window is in the center of the apartment. There are no curtains on the window. Looking out is a large tree with brown leaves. The walls show the outline of paintings that were once there.
There is a quietness about the room, when suddenly a man appears climbing the tree. The window is slide open and the man comes in. Alexandra recognizes the man as her youngest son Chris (Stephen Spinella). Steve has not seen his mother in a long time. He now lives in Santa Fe. Chris has been called by his brother and sister to make their mother to move the barricade and come out. Her son and daughter want her to move out of the brown stone, they feel she is too old to live there alone.
Alexandra threatens to burn the brownstone she owns, while she is inside. Her children told her they will call the police. She feels the only thing left is her dying and when that happens she wants to die there.
Things come out about her past and present, her feelings for her youngest child.
She said you know you’re getting old when you have to make sound effects for your body.
This is a touching story of a woman who still has the ability to know what she wants and her limitations.
The Velocity of Autumn is a well written, thought thinking play of life and how we choose to live our final years.
Estelle Parsons is excellent in this role. She pulls at your heart strings.
This is one play I would like to get a Tony nomination.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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