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Presented by City National

The 2013-2014 Broadway Season

The Velocity of Autumn
Estelle Parsons and Stephen Spinella star in Eric Coble’s dark comedy about a 79-year-old artist in a showdown with her family over where she'll spend her remaining years.

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Booth Theatre
Opening Night - April 21 2014
Final Performance - May 04 2014
The Velocity of AutumnEstelle Parsons and Stephen Spinella in Eric Coble's The Velocity of Autumn.


Eric Coble’s dark comedy swirls around Alexandra (Estelle Parsons), a 79-year-old artist in a showdown with her family over where she'll spend her remaining years. 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 (Stephen Spinella) 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 in this “wickedly funny and wonderfully touching” discovery of the fragility and ferocity of life.


  • The Velocity of Autumn is the third in playwright Eric Coble’s trilogy called The Alexandra Plays, which depict the same woman in her 20s, 40s, and approaching 80.
  • The Velocity of Autumn is one of several of this season’s shows that have played Arena Stage on their way to Broadway, also including A Time to Kill and A Night with Janis Joplin.


The Velocity of Autumn had its world premiere at Boise Contemporary Theatre in Idaho in April 2011, and was subsequently produced at Cleveland’s Beck Center for the Arts in Ohio in April 2012. This production began in a Fall 2013 pre-Broadway engagement at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC.


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Revised April 8, 2014