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May 20, 2009 > Theatre Review: Dynamic Proof

Theatre Review: Dynamic Proof

By Julie Grabowski

Broadway West delivers another impressive show with David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning "Proof." The play tells the story of Catherine who has dropped out of college to care for her brilliant mathematician father Robert, now suffering from mental illness. While she has inherited his tremendous intellectual abilities, she fears that she may also share his mental instability. When an unexpected romance begins with her father's former student Hal, and a remarkable and possible historic proof is found in Robert's office after his death, trust and futures are challenged as Hal must determine the true author of the work.

Led by the excellent Rachael Logsdon, the cast is tight and firmly in control of the material, wholly engaging and compelling. As the sharp and fiery Catherine, Logsdon delivers all the angles of her character with passion and believability, and an unwavering ownership. Ross Arden Harkness has wonderful presence and personality as Robert, and generates a good deal of the laughs that are to be had. Greg Small is strong and sympathetic as math geek/rock band drummer Hal, and Dawn Cates a perfect compliment as Catherine's together "fix it" sister Claire from New York.

The play takes place on the back porch of a run-down house in Chicago, beautifully rendered by set designer Adam Berns. The worn paint of the house, dead potted plants and weeds sprouting from beneath the weathered, creaking wooden porch creates a perfect atmosphere that immediately draws you into the story.

Another great feature of the evening is the collection of music between scenes and at intermission. Songs from Seal, Coldplay, Jem, and Barenaked Ladies compliment the story and unifies the mood from beginning to end.

Those on less than friendly terms with numbers should not be driven off by the prospect of spending a few hours with mathematicians. Math is only the framework for a story about familial and romantic relationships, sacrifice, trust, personal potential, and the fear of creative decline. The play also emphasizes that behind the bright face of genius is a lot of hard work and struggle; it is not the quick and effortless miracle it might seem to be. "Proof" is an evening of passion and friction, hurt and humor, an excellent show from director Drew Campbell not to be missed.

General admission is $22; $17 for seniors, students, and TBA members; with Thursday performances $15 for everyone. A special bargain priced performance is available on Thursday, June 11 when all tickets cost only $10. Sunday matinees and opening night are full price. May 24 and 31 performances begin with a continental brunch at 12:15 p.m., and patrons of the June 7 performance will be treated to English tea, sandwiches, and scones during intermission. All refreshments are included in the ticket price. For tickets and more information call (510) 683-9218 or visit online at www.broadwaywest.org.


Proof
May 15-June 13
Thursday - Saturday 8 p.m.
Sundays 1 p.m.
Broadway West Theatre Company
4000-B Bay Street, Fremont
(510) 683-9218

Tickets: $15-$22

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