Broadway Winter 2013/Spring 2014 Guide
by Whitney Spaner, 12/09/2013
Photo: T Wood
The Velocity of Autumn
No one plays a pain-in-the-ass mother better than Estelle Parsons. On Roseanne she starred as Beverly, the comedian's grating, sexually confused mom, and on Broadway she took over the role of the pill-popping matriarch Violet in the family drama August: Osage County. In her latest outing as a parent, the 86-year-old Parsons plays Alexandra, an aging artist who—as a tactic meant to keep her concerned (or meddling?) children from taking control of her life—threatens to blow up her Brooklyn brownstone with an array of homemade bombs. Of course, this dangerous display only further convinces her progeny that she needs to be locked up in an old-age home. As the play unfolds, her estranged youngest son, played by Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella, ends up having to climb through the window of his mother's apartment to try and talk some sense into her. During the play's pre-Broadway run in Washington, DC, last fall, the emotional sparring between Spinella and Parsons was said to be as explosive as Alexandra's Molotov cocktail collection.
Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St. In previews; opens April 21.