Velocity of Autumn Previews

mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 09:22pm
So there is already a Casa Valentina previews thread, but Velocity starts tonight as well. Anybody going? Thoughts?
Please note: any opinions regarding shows or otherwise that are stated by this account, no matter how they are presented represent a personal opinion and should not be taken as an attempt to convey facts and disagreement with my opinion is not only welcome but I highly encourage it to inspire lively and healthy debate.
PianoMann
Leading Actor
joined:5/12/11
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 09:32pm
I'm not usually one to play forum police, but there's already a previews thread for Velocity of Autumn:

http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1071146&dt=0

There was no traction there, though, so no harm!
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 09:32pm
Well, if they are "going", the are already there...curtain would have been an hour and a half ago (or more if it was an early show.

That being said, I'd love to know if anyone went tonight...I'm curious about this one.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 10:16pm
I was there tonight. I love Estelle Parsons and was excited to see this for her, but honestly I thought it was terrible. This is the play that reminded me even 90 minute intermissionless pieces can feel like an eternity when they're poorly written.

Nothing much happens and the whole set up seems highly implausible. It's hard to exactly figure out why everyone seems to be so mad and mistrusting of one another. There are only two people in the cast, but there are two off-stage characters that could have easily been brought into the action to liven things up a bit.

It was marginally better than Bronx Bombers, but worse than A Time To Kill, and really that says it all.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 10:23pm
Poor Estelle! She deserves better - I was hoping this would be her "Trip to Bountiful" moment at this years' Tony Awards but it sounds like that's not going to happen.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 10:31pm
I was talking with someone today and said the same exact thing. I would LOVE to see Estelle put a Tony on her mantel, but this ain't it- especially after what Cherry Jones did in the same theater earlier this season.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Updated On: 4/1/14 at 10:31 PM
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 11:42pm
Trite, talky, and terribly tedious. It seemed interminable.

Oh well, at least it wasn't as painful as some of the horrors I've sat through this season, eg. Mr. Burns, And Away We Go, Watson Intelligence, Fun Home, What's It All About, Ode to Joy, etc.
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 12:01am
AfterHate, thanks for reminding us of everything you've hated recently. I really could have sworn you loved FUN HOME and MR BURNS.

As much as I love Estelle Parsons, this does nothing for me. I'll see it if I get a comp (which I doubt will be too hard).
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 12:03am
Really, you thought Fun Home was THAT bad?
So I totally think everybody should have their own opinions, so I ask this with genuine curiosity, but is there any show that you absolutely love, After Eight?
In any case, I'm always sad to see that a play isn't very good.
Please note: any opinions regarding shows or otherwise that are stated by this account, no matter how they are presented represent a personal opinion and should not be taken as an attempt to convey facts and disagreement with my opinion is not only welcome but I highly encourage it to inspire lively and healthy debate.
musicalman2
Featured Actor
joined:5/7/08
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 12:51am
I was at the first preview and the show got huge laughs, there were very engaged silences, audience members wiping away tears. As soon as the show was over the audience stood up and started cheering and yelling for the actors. I also liked the fact that at least 150-200 people stayed for the post show talkback, which IMHO is a real sign that they are engaged. Estelle was fantastic. Ditto for Steven. Very resonant play.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 05:55am
Wow...what diverse opinions.

I know they are doing talkbacks at every preview performane.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
musicalman2
Featured Actor
joined:5/7/08
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 09:21am
"I know they are doing talkbacks at every preview performance."

Dramamama611, the talkback was very interesting. Audience members telling how the language in the play related to him, and could not believe that the author, who is relatively young (maybe well under 50) could get into the mind of the characters like that. My favorite comment was from a woman from a foreign country (I think somewhere in South America) who talked about how universal the play was, and how she had some relative who was older and desperately wanted to work in her art studio, which involved climbing some sort of large hill or mountain to get to it. Family members wanted to stop her from doing it, and how this relative wanted to make her own independent choices. Really interesting how the theme translates. That led one of the creative team to mention that the show already has interest from like 6 or 8 non-English speaking foreign countries.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 09:46am
The problem is there is nothing more to the play than an aging mother resisting being put into a nursing home by her three children. (For the record, I 100% was on the side of the kids.)

How many times have we seen this play out on tv shows and in movies? Far too many to count. What Velocity of Autumn was missing was any dramatic thrust. Two of the three children never enter the brownstone and are left communicating via Spinella's cell. Parsons does appear to have gone off the deep end, and I highly doubt she would have been able to barricade the door and rig the place to blow with all the Molotov cocktails like she has. There are hints that the two kids are putting her away for the money, but she clearly needs assistance living so that motive doesn't pan out.

It seems like all four of them are estranged, but no reasons are ever given.

The story is very cliche, so why not make it exciting. Add some drama, some secrets- when the characters get angry let the mud start flying. Right now it's just so boring.

As for the audience, I thought the reaction was extremely tepid throughout, even for a house packed to the gill with comped friends and producers. Sure there was the standard standing ovation, but what show doesn't receive that?

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
musicalman2
Featured Actor
joined:5/7/08
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 10:00am
"As for the audience, I thought the reaction was extremely tepid throughout, even for a house packed to the gill with comped friends and producers."

Whizzer, there were huge laughs throughout the show. Starting as soon as the curtain rose, with Stephen's entrance. I don't know how you can call that "tepid".
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 10:20am
Hmm maybe they just should have brought back Estelle in THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE - that would have been more fun.
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 10:37am
I wasn't there so I can't speak to Whizzer calling the audience reaction "tepid" (I'm sure it was). However, I'm reading these posts and I can safely call musicalman2 a shill.
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 10:44am
I'm not saying that the play was met with dead silence or that a joke or two didn't get a decent laugh, but overall I thought the majority of the humor received a tepid reaction.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 11:45am
That's too bad. The marketing and stuff had me excited for this. I saw Parsons in August and loooooved her. Was hoping it was more of the same type of thing. Oh well.

Is this the first time Arena has transfered something to B'way?
Updated On: 4/2/14 at 11:45 AM
musicalman2
Featured Actor
joined:5/7/08
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 12:04pm
RippedMan, I thought last night's show was really good. I've not seen this conflict dramatized in this way on stage. My only criticism was that occasionally I could not hear Stephen Spinella. Estelle is on fire though!
LucyEth
Understudy
joined:8/23/12
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/3/14 at 01:07am
I don't know what show the rest of you saw, but I was there tonight and had a truly marvelous time. This is a solid, emotionally engaging, laugh-out-loud funny play that's going to have a very long life, if not on Broadway, then in the regions. I'm going through, with my mother, the exact same thing that the Spinella character is going through, so the play really resonated with me. The performances are terrific, although I did feel that Parsons was a bit one-note. But all in all, I would highly recommend this. (And no, I'm not a shill!)

Updated On: 4/3/14 at 01:07 AM
Wickedmonkey332
Featured Actor
joined:5/2/13
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/3/14 at 07:07am
I saw it in DC and quite enjoyed it. As a teenager, it was funny, quirky, and made me think about what it means to grow older as a family. The appeal is wider than I expected.
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/3/14 at 09:34am
I'm not seeing this show until April 30, but I'm pretty much ignoring the above comments about it needing more of a point, or that is just isn't that plausible. Frankly, I'm willing to totally suspend belief for a comedy that isn't trying to make a huge point or preach at me, but just plain make me laugh. This sounds like it might be just that. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with just plain silly laughs.
LucyEth
Understudy
joined:8/23/12
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/3/14 at 01:22pm
Patash: There's nothing silly about the humor, it's actually very pointed and clever. Says a great deal about growing old, which I and most of the audience could easily relate to. What the author has done so well is balance the poignancy of Parsons situation (which could have been maudlin and depressing) with good old-fashioned one-liners. Is the set-up 100% credible? Perhaps not, but that doesn't stop this from being a skillfully written, very entertaining piece of theater.
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/3/14 at 03:52pm
Maybe I misused the word "silly" -- I didn't mean it in a negative way at all. Anything that makes me laugh, no matter how clever and witty, I still call "silly". But I realize that isn't necessarily correct.
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/20/14 at 01:29am
...And the season of disappointments continues to march on with THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN.

The problem with this show is that it's virtually the same discussion and argument on repeat. Parsons must have at least four monologues about getting old. And Spinella has about the same amount of annoyingly tangential monologues that go nowhere. It did feel longer than 90 minutes, for sure, but I didn't find it to be particularly painful to sit through. There are stretches that are worse than others, but I just found it to be mostly repetitive, plodding, and totally unmemorable. Which for some may (understandably) be worse offenses than being painful. Parsons is fine, if entirely one note. I found Spinella to be incredibly irritating. Both are undeniably talented performers, but this is neither their best work nor are these roles their best roles. That's for sure.

I liked the set and the subtle lighting effects. The direction was amateurish and awkward. Lots of pacing and frantic movements, just for the sake of moving. (Flash back to Joe Mantello's direction of I'LL EAT YOU LAST at the Booth a year ago, where Bette Midler scarcely moved. You'll wish some of that laid back style was injected here.)

This is, unfortunately, yet another letdown in a season chock full of them.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
Velocity of Autumn Previews
Posted: 4/20/14 at 07:36am
I have to agree. It was basically a rehash of arguments, over and over again. However, I admire Ms. Parsons' ability to memorize all that dialogue and deliver it so eloquently--but that was not enough to engage me. I usually like Stephen Spinella, but his character just didn't seem believable. Maybe the play might have worked better as a (shortened) monologue by the elderly mother? I don't know. In any case, I don't envision a very long future for this production.

Updated On: 4/20/14 at 07:36 AM