Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Proof" a Mainstream Winner from Off the Rails

My friend Karla Setchel and me at "Proof." It was Karla's first play. Ever.
Off the Rails' newest production "Proof," the Pulitzer Prize winner by David Auburn is an undertaking that is unusual from this off the rails company. OTR generally prefers the obscure, the hardcore theatrical, the oddball, the sometimes bizarre.

"Proof" is none of that. It won a Tony and a Pulitzer in 2001 and was adapted into a movie in 2005. That's about as mainstream as you can get. OTR picked a good one for its visit to legit.

This one's about a dead math professor, who had a long visit with crazy before dying, and his math genius daughter and the legacy they share.

Hannah Willons is quite good good as daughter Catherine and Michael Mansfield shines as Robert, the prof. Mansfield is the male head of an extremely talented theater family. The only two other parts were Catherine's sister Claire, ably played by Emily Smith and a believeable Hal, played by James Wise Jr.

Miriam Frazier's direction, as usual, was spot-on, combining this small cast's chemistry with precision. This one was full of passion, surprise, and math ... which was a good bit more interesting than you might imagine.

Small play, small company, small budget, big entertainment. It runs through the end of next week at Community High School downtown. Call 540-676-1415 for tickets ($10 and $15, depending on when you go).

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