According to The Washington Post, Molly Smith, artistic director of Arena Stage has signed on to direct a production of Eric Coble's THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN on Broadway in the Spring of 2013, a production that'll mark Broadway debuts for both. Lead producer Larry Kaye has said that signed on to star will be Estelle Parsons and Stephen Spinella.
The Post also reports that "The deal is not yet a sure thing, however. “The Velocity of Autumn” still must find an available Broadway house, and the financing for the multimillion-dollar venture is not yet in place — two of the guarantors of an opening night. Kaye, a Bethesda-based producer who has invested in other Broadway shows, such as “American Idiot” and the revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” says he is at the beginning of the process of finding others who will put money into the venture.
Still, the retention of a major New York theater public-relations firm, The Hartman Group, and the casting of the Oscar-winning Parsons (for “Bonnie and Clyde”) and Tony-winner Spinella (for “Angels in America”) are significant steps in the project’s development. In addition to announcing Smith’s hiring, Kaye also disclosed that the design team will consist of Eugene Lee on sets, Howell Binkley on lighting, Linda Cho for costumes and Darren L. West for sound design."
The Velocity of Autumn will star Estelle Parsons as the aging artist, Alexandra and Stephen Spinella as her estranged son, Chris. Despite her children's attempts to move her into a nursing home, Alexandra is determined to spend her final years in the Brooklyn brownstone she calls home. Chris is forced back into her life after years of separation when she threatens to blow up her home in a final act of desperation.
The Velocity of Autumn had its world premiere at Boise Contemporary Theater in April 2011. Reviewers called it a "funny and touching new play...that takes you someplace real within yourself...and it leads to a sweet and satisfying resolution." The production next had its regional premiere at the Beck Center for the Arts in 2012.
Eric Coble is Cleveland's most prolific playwright having written over 40 plays for adults and children. Velocity is the third in a series of plays by Coble known as "The Alexandra Plays," a trilogy of stories about the same witty, strong-willed character in different stages of her life. The first play, A Girl's Guide to Coffee premiered last month at Actors' Summit in Akron.
ESTELLE PARSONS (Alexandra) is currently appearing on Broadway in Nice Work If You Can Get It. She recently received rave reviews for Marco Calvani's Things Of This World directed by Neil LaBute at LaMama. Recently she played Dottie in David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People at Manhattan Theater Club, the Dutch psychic in Deathtrap with Simon Russell Beale in London, after having spent a year on Broadway and a year on tour with August: Osage County. Upon her arrival in New York City from Marblehead, Massachusetts, she was one of eight people who put together the NBC Today show on national television and became the first woman to do political reporting for a television network. Ms. Parsons made her Broadway debut with Ethel Merman in Happy Hunting and proceeded with starring roles in, among others, Miss Margarida's Way which started at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre and introduced the first Brazilian playwright to Broadway. ...And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little, The Seven Descents Of Myrtle, The Norman Conquests and Morning's At Seven. She introduced Dario Fo and Franca Rame's feminist work to American audiences. She won an Academy Award for Bonnie And Clyde and was nominated for a second Oscar for Paul Newman's Rachel, Rachel. She has made thirteen other films. Jerry Herman's Nightcap launched her varied night club career. She did two Julius Monk revues at Upstairs at the Downstairs before joining Lotte Lenya in The Three Penny Opera and playing Widow Begbick in the American premiere of Mahagonny. On television, she played Roseanne's Mother on “Roseanne” for ten years. She appeared in “All In The Family,” “Archie's Place,” “The UFO Incident,” and “Empire Falls,” among others. She was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004.