THEATER REVIEW: “The Velocity of Autumn” @ Hubbard Hall [Berkshire on Stage]
Review by Gail M. Burns
Immediately after seeing The Velocity of Autumn at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, I posted a few glowing sentences on Facebook. I meant every word of them – as a professional theater critic I would not have made the statement publicly if I didn’t! But saying that I loved or hated or had questions about a production is not a review, it is an opinion. The purpose of a review is to defend the opinion, which is what I will do here.
Simply put, this is a well written play with plausible, relatable characters and the perfect balance of drama and comedy. This handsome production – set by Darcy May and lighting by Calvin Anderson – is lovingly directed by David Snider. Christine Decker and Oliver Wadsworth – both excellent, experienced actors who miraculously live locally – are not only perfect in their respective roles, but they make an energetic team and are thoroughly believable as mother and son.
This is certainly not the first play I’ve seen about adult children and their aging parents. But it is one of the best because it deals with the joys and challenges of both the mother and the son. Christopher (Wadsworth) is in midlife, his work as an artist has stalled, his most recent relationship ended two years ago, he has moved many thousands of mile to end up in a menial job, and he is estranged from his widowed mother and two older siblings.