By Kenneth Jones
30 Jun 2002
Since the turbulent September of 2001 Jennifer Jason Leigh has played the emotionally turbulent Catherine in the Broadway company of Proof, but she and the troupe exit June 30 to make way for another cast.
Patrick Tovatt, Seana Kofoed and Josh Hamilton end their run in David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play to be replaced July 2 by Anne Heche, Len Cariou, Neil Patrick Harris and Kate Jennings Grant.
Heche will play the unstable daughter of a mentally ill math genius who may have inherited his gift — and his sickness. Cariou is the father, Robert, Harris is suitor Hal and Grant is sister Claire.
Mary-Louise Parker (Prelude to a Kiss, "Fried Green Tomatoes") created the central role in the David Auburn play when it began Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club May 23, 2000. She won the Best Actress Tony when it moved to the Walter Kerr Theatre in 2000-2001, and Auburn picked up the Best Play Tony Award and the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Jennifer Jason Leigh ("The Anniversary Party," Cabaret on Broadway) took over the role of Catherine Sept. 14, 2001, days after terrorist attacks Sept. 11 shut down Broadway and shocked the world. Larry Bryggman created the role of the father on Broadway. Tovatt joined the original cast to replace Bryggman as Robert and stayed with the 2001-2002 company. Since Sept. 14, Hamilton has played Hal (Ben Shenkman created the role) and Kofoed played Claire (Johanna Day created the role). The entire original Broadway cast was nominated for acting Tony Awards.
Set is by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Pat Collins, and original music and sound design by John Gromada.
The Proof national tour, led by Chelsea Altman and Robert Foxworth, with Stephen Kunken and Tasha Lawrence, ended June 23 at the Auditorium Theatre in Denver. Regional theatres are already starting to produce resident productions of the work, and it's expected to be one of the most-produced plays of the decade. Playwright Auburn himself directed a staging of the play in Miami.
Proof is produced on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, artistic director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer), Roger Berlind, Carole Shorenstein Hays, Jujamcyn Theatres, Ostar Enterprises, Inc., Daryl Roth and Stuart Thompson.
The Walter Kerr Theatre is at 219 West 48th Street. Tickets are $24-$75. For ticket information, call (212) 239 6200.