Review: ProofBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jan 28th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Fauquier Community Theatre’s production of Proof [MP3 5:14 4.8MB].
Mike: Proof is a wonderful story of a family dealing with a lot of crises. The main character is Catherine. Her father has just passed away. He was a brilliant mathematician. But he had some kind of mental illness the last few years of his life. Catherine was his caretaker. She dropped out of college to take care of him. Her sister Claire stayed in New York while Catherine and Robert, the father were in Chicago. Catherine had lots of issues about the fear that maybe one day she would have the same illness her father has. She felt bad because she had to drop out of school. The other character besides the family members is a PhD, I guess he’s a professor at that point. He was a former student of Robert’s, Hal. He was asked by Catherine to go through some of her father’s notebooks that he’d left behind. The last years of his life, Robert started writing things in his notebooks. Catherine thought tht since he was such a great mathematician, maybe he had written something really cool.
Laura: At one point she tells him where there’s a secret drawer that is locked and she gives him the key and tells him to go get it. He goes in and finds it and is just thrilled beyond belief by this historical proof, and then she tells him she wrote it. At first he doesn’t believe her.
Mike: He kind of waffles. He believes her because he wants to believe her and then he doesn’t believe her because even he doesn’t understand it and he’s a PhD professor. There’s a conflict there, too. Does she trust him? Does he trust her? It develops really well. I think all the characters work really well together.
Laura: Yes, they did. I felt the sisters, Claire and Catherine, acted like sisters. Their emotions came through. The frustration at them. It came through really well.
Mike: They didn’t quite understand each other. I guess that’s how siblings are when you’re older anyway. Catherine felt like she had been doing all the work taking care of Robert for so long. Claire shot right back, “How do you think the bills got paid? I’ve been paying every single bill for the past three years. And I’ve been living in a little one room apartment.” So that was good. They both had issues with each other. Claire being the older sister trying to take charge. I really liked the stage. The whole play took place on the back porch of the house in Chicago. It was a simple setting. It had a nice backyard. It had a bench, some stairs. It worked well.
Laura: It was really good. Something that you pointed out to me that I didn’t realize is the different scenes when they would go back in time.
Mike: There were several scenes where they would flash back, flash backed? They did a flash back to several years earlier to show some of the interactions between Robert and Catherine.
Laura: The flowers changed.
Mike: Of course the house isn’t going to change. It was the same time of year so the weather isn’t going to change much. There were some flowers at the bottom of the stairs and they were blooming. And then later the father had passed away and there was a lot of conflict and the flowers were all dead and trimmed back. It was just a neat counterpoint as to how things have changed.
Laura: It was really good. I really liked how they all interacted well together. It flowed very well. I thought the lighting was good.
Mike: The costuming was appropriate. There was one scene when Catherine was up late one night drunk and the next morning she was still in the same clothes all kind of rumpled and whatever. It worked out really well. I think they pulled it together and it was a very enjoyable evening. There was some adult language throughout the entire evening.
Laura: Yes, not suitable for young children probably.
Mike: This was pretty strong language, but it wasn’t gratuitous like some of the plays that are out there.
Laura: The lines were said in anger and with a lot of emotion.
Mike: Proof will challenge you to think. For example the big isssue that Claire and Catherine thought about was what do we do with Dad? Do we put him in a home? Do we keep him at home where’s he’s been living for years and that’s where he’s comfortable. So there are other issues. Trusting your sister. Family ties. Where do I move? Where will I live? Am I going to go crazy because my dad had this am I going to have this. It’s a very thinking play. it’s going to make you think.
Laura: Yes it is. It is really well done. It opened tonight and plays for the next three weeks in Warrenton, VA. I would recommend calling Faquier Community Theatre and getting tickets to see this show.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/789.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.