Velocity of Autumn

posted in: Theater Reviews | 0


A play by Eric Coble, directed by Molly Smith

Actors: Estelle Parsons, Stephen Spinella

Acting quality: excellent

May 3, 2014

This simple, one-act play consists of a conversation between a 79 year-old widow and her estranged adult son, inside the widow’s Brooklyn brownstone home.  The gist of the dialogue is that the old lady’s will to live is diminishing along with her mental and bodily functions.  She says ‘each day I am becoming less ‘me’ “.  The son has been talking with his siblings and they agree that mom should go to a retirement home, but the old woman staunchly refuses, threatening to blow up her home and the entire block if her children or the police try to force her to such a facility.

The dialogue uses humor to portray the frustrations and challenges of aging, and of how the younger adult generation deals with those issues.

Entertaining and extremely well-acted, the subject touches virtually everyone in the audience in that everyone at some point deals with this issue, whether their own aging or that of a loved one.  The author does not try to suggest that there is any good solution – only to encourage a dialogue of the topic.

After the play, the writer and producer of the show held a brief discussion and question/answer period.  This greatly enhanced the experience, hearing directly from the playwright about how the idea of the play came to him, how the director interpreted it and so on.  Overall, a simple play that touches on a universal topic in an entertaining yet sensitive way.