Anne Heche steps into one of Broadway's choicest recent roles July 2 when she joins Proof as part of the second replacement company for the hit at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
Heche, whose own emotional turbulence has been documented in her memoir, "Call Me Crazy," plays frazzled Catherine, the daughter of a math genius (played by Len Cariou) who may have inherited her father's gift — and illness. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn (who also won the Tony) has been celebrated by critics and audiences as a romance, a drama of splintered family dynamics and a mystery. (Crowds still gasp at the Act One curtain line.) Neil Patrick Harris plays suitor Hal and Kate Jennings Grant is Catherine's concerned sister, Claire.
The company remains under the direction of Daniel Sullivan, who won a Tony Award helming the work.
The previous cast, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Josh Hamilton, Patrick Tovatt and Seana Kofoed, exited the show June 30 following performances since Sept. 14, 2001.
* 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. Larry Bryggman created the role of the father on Broadway, to be replaced in summer 2001 by Tovatt.
Len Cariou brings with him the weight of past productions of Shakespeare and Sweeney Todd. Cariou's most recent Broadway turn was as a bitter husband in Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. He won a Tony Award for the title role in Sweeney Todd and was Tony nommed for Applause and A Little Night Music. His credits include works at the famed Stratford Festival in Ontario.
Harris, known for TV's "Doogie Howser, M.D." and as a concertizing Toby in the 2000 New York Philharmonic concert of Sweeney Todd (to say nothing of his work as Mark in the West Coast Rent).
Grant was seen in the Encores! concert of Bloomer Girl, on tour in Finian's Rainbow and in Off Broadway's Summer of '42.
Heche's most high profile role may have been in the Harrison Ford picture, "Six Days Seven Nights," and she became widely known for having been Ellen DeGeneres' partner and for a very public breakdown, which she chronicled in her memoir, "Call Me Crazy."
Heche recently appeared in "John Q.," opposite Denzel Washington and will be seen in "Prozac Nation," with Christina Ricci, due out early next year. Recent film credits include "Auggie Rose," "The Third Miracle" and Gus Van Zant's update of "Psycho." She won The National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog." She starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones in "Volcano" and achieved critical acclaim for "Donnie Brasco." Her films also include "The Juror," "Walking and Talking," "The Wild Side," "Twist of Fate," "Pie in the Sky," "Milk Money," "The Investigator" and "I'll Do Anything." She won an Emmy Award for her television debut on "Another World," and recently appeared in a multi-episode story arc on "Ally McBeal."
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. (The fact that there's one set and a cast of four helps.)
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 W. 48th Street. Tickets are $24-$75. For information, call (212) 239-6200.