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Saturday, September 1, 2018

HG's "The Velocity of Autumn" Performances are on Sept. 14, 15, 16, 21 & 22

Alexandra (Pat Balon) demonstrates to son, Chris (Herb Johnson) her readiness to light one of her homemade Molotov cocktails.
In "The Velocity of Autumn,” Hamilton-Gibson’s upcoming comedy-drama, Alexandra, an 80-year-old artist who is healthy and quick-witted, is in a showdown with her three grown children about where she is going to live.

Alexandra wants to stay where she is. Her children don't want her to continue living in her Brooklyn brownstone because she is growing older and is alone. In response, she has barricaded herself in her apartment with enough homemade Molotov cocktails to take out her whole block.

Her estranged son Chris returns after 20 years, crawls through Alexandra’s second-floor window and becomes the family’s unlikely mediator. No sooner does he utter the words “Hi, Mom” than the emotional bombs start detonating.

Playing Alexandra is Pat Balon. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Balon moved to Elkland, earned her degree in education at Mansfield University and began teaching German in the Northern Tioga School District in 1975. She moved into elementary education shortly thereafter and retired in 2011. In the winter of 2012, she made her first appearance on stage in the Elmira Little Theatre’s production of "Dearly Departed,” followed by "Anything Goes" and "Hallelujah Girls." In Corning, she was in the Center Stage Community Theatre’s "Christmas Belles" and in 2017 was in HG’s "Wedding Belles.” In her spare time she enjoys gardening and crochets pillows for children preparing for surgery at Corning Hospital.

“Nearly everyone can identify with the issues raised in this warmhearted comedy, either from the perspective of the aging parent or the loving children,” said Balon.

"I admire Alexandra's feistiness and her willingness to stand up for her independence, against all odds, including the well-meaning but misguided intentions of her grown children,” Balon said. “I lived with an independent and strong woman - my mother - and can readily identify with the situation in this play."

Herb Johnson of Wellsboro plays Chris. Originally from the Renovo area, Johnson spent a number of years in Florida as a businessman. Shortly after his re-entry to the Pennsylvania Wilds, he was cast as Mayor Shinn in HG's “The Music Man” in 2010. Since then he has appeared on stage in a number of HG productions including the popular "Second Samuel," as Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family," "Unbeatable," "All Shook Up," "Spamalot," and nearly every production so far this year.

Johnson’s parents are both healthy and vibrant but he knows that the almost universal dilemma addressed in "The Velocity of Autumn" is one that he may face in the future.

This play is described as a wickedly funny and wonderfully touching discovery of the fragility and ferocity of life.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 14 and 15 and Sept. 21 and 22 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16 in the Warehouse Theatre at 3 Central Avenue in Wellsboro. The show is sponsored in part by Citizens and Northern Bank.

Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for youth, 18 and under. There is a $60 FlexPass for adults. For tickets, call 570-724-2079, email hamgib@gmail.com or visit www.hamiltongibson.org.


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