The first casualty of theater award season has been announced. The Velocity of Autumn, which received only one Tony nomination (for Estelle Parsons’ performance) has posted its closing notice and will play its final performance at the Booth Theatre on Sun., May 4. The play by Eric Coble opened on April 21 after beginning previews on April 1 and will have played 22 previews and 16 regular performances.
Oscar winner Parsons (Bonnie and Clyde, Roseanne) stars as Alexandra, a 79-year-old painter threatening to blow up her Brooklyn brownstone with improvised Molotov cocktails unless her children stop threatening to move her into a nursing home. Two-time Tony-winner Stephen Spinella (Angels in America) plays her estranged son Chris who returns home after several years’ absence to negotiate a settlement. The play is directed by Molly Smith, artistic director of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. where this production was presented in October 2013. Velocity had its world premiere at Boise Contemporary Theatre inIdaho in April 2011, and played to sold-out audiences at Cleveland’s BeckCenter for the Arts in Ohio in April 2012.
The New York critics were mostly negative about the play, but most praised Parsons and Spinella’s performances.