Hit-Makers Parker and Co. Exit Bway Proof Sept. 9; Leigh in the Wings

News   Hit-Makers Parker and Co. Exit Bway Proof Sept. 9; Leigh in the Wings Mary Louise-Parker packs up her 2001 Tony Award for Best Actress and leaves Broadway's Proof Sept. 9, along with her Tony-nominated co stars Johanna Day and Ben Shenkman.

Mary Louise-Parker packs up her 2001 Tony Award for Best Actress and leaves Broadway's Proof Sept. 9, along with her Tony-nominated co stars Johanna Day and Ben Shenkman.

The threesome originated their roles Off-Broadway in 2000 at Manhattan Theatre Club, where David Auburn's play had its world premiere prior to its Broadway transfer and its 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2001, with Parker snagging her Tony for playing Catherine, the disturbed daughter of a University of Chicago math genius.

The play is at turns a comedy, a mystery, a family drama and a romance, and audiences have cheered the Broadway production for its craft and intelligence. Parker's dangerous performance moved from clarity to manic-depressive energy every performance and left theatregoers guessing if Catherine might have inherited her father's genius — and illness.

Larry Bryggman was also Tony nommed for playing Catherine's father. He left the show in June and was replaced by Patrick Tovatt, who remains to work with the incoming cast, led by Jennifer Jason Leigh. Seana Kofoed will play Catherine's brittle sister, Claire (taking over for Day) and Josh Hamilton will play a mysterious and charming suitor of Catherine's, Hal (originated by Shenkman). The new company's first performance, under the direction of director Daniel Sullivan (yet another Tony winner for his Proof work) begins Sept. 11. Performances continue at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Parker's stage credits include How I Learned to Drive and Prelude to a Kiss. Leigh recently played Sally Bowles in Broadway's Cabaret and stars in the film she co-wrote and co-directed, "The Anniversary Party." Leigh's film and stage career has been built on playing troubled women like Catherine. Sullivan also helms the national tour, which begins this fall with a resident preview at Seattle Repertory Theatre (Oct. 8-Nov. 10). The tour commences Nov. 27 at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.

Proof is produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, Roger Berlind, Carole Shorenstein Hays, Jujamcyn Theaters, Ostar Enterprises, Daryl Roth and Stuart Thompson.

The play opened May 23, 2000 to wide critical acclaim, and played a sold out, extended run Off-Broadway at MTC's Stage I. It opened on Broadway Oct. 24, 2000.

Designers for the Broadway and tour stagings are John Lee Beatty (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Pat Collins (lighting) and original music and sound design by John Gromada.

The tour cast includes Robert Foxworth, Chelsea Altman, Stephen Kunken and Tasha Lawrence.