Eric Coble's new family drama began previews April 1, prior to an official opening April 21. The two-hander, which was not a critical favorite, was the first production to post a closing notice following the April 29 announcement of the Tony Award nominations. The play received only one nomination: Parsons for Best Actress in a Play.
The Velocity of Autumn played 22 previews and 16 regular performances.
"It has been a real pleasure to bring The Velocity of Autumn to Broadway," said Larry Kaye, who, along with Van Dean, is one of the two lead producers of the play, in a recent statement. "After each performance we have been gratified by hearing stories from our audience of how they are touched by the play, and how the universal issues about family and aging are enabling them to have conversations within their own families about the same topics. We're so proud of our entire creative and production team who brought this exquisite play to New York. We're also very grateful to the team at the Arena Stage in Washington who helped launch it, and the Shubert Organization for their support and commitment to new plays."
"The Velocity of Autumn featured performances by two legendary actors in American theater, Estelle Parsons and Stephen Spinella, directed by the outstanding Molly Smith, Artistic Director of Arena Stage, in her Broadway debut," added co-lead producer Van Dean. "We are grateful to them for interpreting the play with so much grace, depth, passion and humanity. We couldn't ask for a better cast to introduce Eric Coble's beautiful work to Broadway and we are deeply appreciative of everyone who made this journey possible." Molly Smith, who directed The Velocity of Autumn at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., also helmed the Broadway production.
"The Velocity of Autumn swirls around Alexandra, a 79-year-old artist in a showdown with her family over where she'll spend her remaining years," press notes state. "In Alexandra's corner are her wit, her volcanic passion and the fact that she's barricaded herself in her Brooklyn brownstone with enough Molotov cocktails to take out the block. But her children have their own secret weapon: estranged son Chris who returns after 20 years, crawls through Alexandra's second floor window, and becomes the family's unlikely mediator. No sooner are the words 'Hi, Mom' uttered than the emotional bombs start detonating. The Velocity of Autumn is a wickedly funny and wonderfully touching discovery of the fragility and ferocity of life."
Five-time Tony nominee Parsons' stage work includes The Seven Descents of Myrtle, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Miss Margarida's Way and Morning's at Seven. She most recently appeared on Broadway in Nice Work If You Can Get It. Her film credits include "Bonne and Clyde," and her TV work includes "Roseanne," "Empire Falls" and "The Good Wife."
Spinella, a two-time Tony winner, has performed in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Angels in America: Perestroika, A View from the Bridge and Spring Awakening. His TV work includes "Royal Pains," "Desperate Housewives" and "24," and his film credits include "Cradle Will Rock" and "Love! Valour! Compassion!"
Coble's plays include Bright Ideas, A Girl's Guide To Coffee, Stranded On Earth, Southern Rapture and My Barking Dog.
The Velocity of Autumn featured scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Rui Rita, sound design by Darron L. West, wig design by Paul Huntley and casting by Geoff Josselson.
The play was produced by Larry Kaye & HOP Theatricals, Van Dean & The Broadway Consortium, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Michael J. Moritz, Jr., Rob Hinderliter & Dominick LaRuffa, Jr. and KIRN Productions, in association with Neal Rubinstein; Franklin Theatrical & James Valletti/Jonathan Demar; and James Simon & Stephen Ganns. Associate producers are Joan Rosenberg/John & Michelle Schaap, Craig J. Horsley/Michael Rubenstein and Lauren Class Schneider.
For tickets, visit Telecharge.com or phone (212) 239-6200.
The Booth Theatre is located at 222 West 45 Street. Visit VelocityOfAutumnBroadway.com for more information.