An edgy young woman, Catherine, sits on the somewhat worn back porch of an older brick house in the University of Chicago neighborhood chatting with …
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An edgy young woman, Catherine, sits on the somewhat worn back
porch of an older brick house in the University of Chicago
neighborhood chatting with her father. It’s her 25th birthday, and
actually, Robert, the brilliant, but mentally ill father died the
previous day and his funeral is tomorrow.
Enter Hal, Robert’s former graduate student, who now teaches at
the University of Chicago — and plays in a not-so-hot band with
other mathematicians. He is combing through the dozens of
notebooks, hoping to find some bits of the brilliance Robert had
possessed, but finding only nonsense.
“Proof” by David Auburn, a beautifully crafted Pulitzer Prize
winning play, is presented by Colorado Stage Company of Lone Tree,
playing through Nov. 13 at the Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel.
Director Constance Cawlfield and crew are to be congratulated for
bringing this fine work to the stage in a thoroughly engaging
Stacy Nelms gives a perceptive, witty portrayal of the bright,
troubled Catherine, who is understandably depressed after leaving
college to care for her troubled father, once a University of
Chicago math genius. Has she inherited his brain… and possibly his
Veteran Denver actor Dell Domnick appears in flashbacks as
off-balance mathematician Robert, with an appropriate low key take
on his madness, as he speaks wistfully of getting his “machinery”
Note that the audience has to pay attention to the timing of the
various acts because they aren’t in a linear sequence — nor are the
thought processes portrayed. Catherine interacts differently with
each other character as the puzzle takes shape.
Patrick Hurley is the likeable young mathematician Hal, who is
quickly smitten with Catherine, but underestimates her ability.
Woman = mathematician is not an equation on his radar screen.
The fourth character Auburn adds to the mix is older sister
Claire, who flies in from her New York job to bury her father and
clear up the mess she knows is there by selling the house and
taking Catherine with her. She has been paying the bills for awhile
and feels entitled to take over. Lisa DeCaro, as Claire, is bossy,
brittle yet shows occasional compassion as she bumps into her
sister’s resistance to change. (All of these imperfect humans have
In the meantime, Hal has found a treasure in a locked drawer
after Catherine gives him the key — an “elegant” proof to a
difficult theorem. She says she wrote it, yet he wonders if Robert
had a brief return to reason. Handwriting is similar. What to
Auburn (b. 1970) is a University of Chicago English major
graduate, who then progressed to the prestigious play writing
program at Julliard. His story telling skills should carry him
Barnard Mathematics professor Dave Bayer wrote a review of the
2000 Broadway production which won both Tony and Pulitzer: “This
play is ultimately a love letter to mathematics, and one can only
respond to its generosity in kind.”
If you go:
“Proof” by David Auburn, a Pulitzer Prize winner presented by
Colorado Stage Company of Lone Tree, plays through Nov. 13 at the
Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel, 9808 Sunningdale Blvd., Lone Tree.
Constance Cawlfield directs. Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and
Saturdays; Tickets: $15/$12. 303-471-8171, www.coloradostage.com.
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