Friday, September 27, 2013

Review of "The Velocity of Autumn"

Arena Stage begins the 2013-14 season with The Velocity of Autumn, a two-character play written by Eric Coble and directed by Arena’s Artistic Director Molly Smith. The Velocity of Autumn stars Academy Award-winning actress Estelle Parson as Alexandra, a 79-year old artist who lives alone in a brownstone in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn and has reached the point where she can no longer live independently. Her co-star is Tony Award-winning actor Stephen Spinella, who portrays her long-absent son Chris who returns to New York after several years to act as a mediator between Alexandra and her other children who want her to move to an assisted living facility. Resentment and ridicule by Alexandra toward Chris for staying away from the family for so long in the beginning of the show slowly changes into something else as the two reminisce about life experiences. 

The Velocity of Autumn is very thought-provoking – aging is something that everyone can relate to, whether personally or dealing with a family member that is advancing in age. Parsons and Spinella have great chemistry on stage and really bring their characters to life. I’d highly recommend seeing this show. It would be a chance to see it before it is adapted for Broadway. The Velocity of Autumn runs at the Kreeger Theater until October 20. Tickets start at $40 and Southwest Night has already passed for this show, where discounted tickets are available to workers and/or residents of Southwest between $25 and $35. The rest of the 2013-14 season is as follows: 
  • Love in Afghanistan: October 11 – November 17, 2013 (Southwest Night on Tuesday, October 15)
  • Tappin’ Thru Life: November 15 – December 29, 2013 (Southwest Night on Friday, November 29)
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: November 29, 2013 – January 5, 2014 (Southwest Night on Tuesday, December 24) 
  • The Tallest Tree in the Forest: January 10 – February 16, 2014 (Southwest Night on Tuesday, January 21) 
  • Mother Courage and her Children: January 31 – March 9, 2014 (Southwest Night on Tuesday, February 4) 
  • Camp David: March 21 – May 4, 2014 (Southwest Night on Sunday, April 20) 
  • Smokey Joe’s CafĂ© the Songs of Liber and Stoller: April 25 – June 8, 2014 (Southwest Night on Tuesday, May 27) 
  • Healing Wars: June 6 – 29 2014
Photo taken by Teresa Wood, courtesy of Arena Stage

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