You know your play's an international phenomenon when you open in Manila.
In what is very possibly the first international production of David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, Proof began performances in the Philippines capital on Jan. 9. Miss Miss Saigon herself, Lea Salonga, stars as Catherine, the troubled mathematician's daughter, a role played by Mary-Louise Parker on Broadway.
The role gives Salonga a rare opportunity to try her hand at straight drama. Known almost exclusively for her work as Kim, the Vietnamese prostitute who falls in love with an American solider during the Vietnam War, in Miss Saigon, Salonga recently starred in the drastically revised version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, which is currently playing an acclaimed and extended run at L.A.'s Mark Taper Forum. She left the production to star in Proof and will return to the U.S. following the Manila run to prepare for Flower Drum Song's fall 2002 Broadway bow.
The Manila production is produced by Atlantis Productions and directed by Bobby Garcia, who appears to be the man to call when you want an American production staged in Manila: He has previously mounted Rent and Hedwig and the Angry Inch in the Philippine city.
Also in the cast are Michael de Mesa, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Joel Trinidad. —By Robert Simonson