Goodman Proof Get Third Robert in Phillip Edward VanLear

News   Goodman Proof Get Third Robert in Phillip Edward VanLear
Actor Andre De Shields' defection from the Goodman Theatre's staging of David Auburn's durable drama, Proof, has resulted in some casting consternation for the Chicago nonprofit.

Andre de Shields, who was set to star as father Robert, left that production in order to honor a previous commitment to appear in Mark Medoff's Prymate, which is headed for Broadway this April. He was replaced by John H. Cochran.

Cochran has now been replaced by Phillip Edward VanLear. Cochran is continuing as understudy to the role. Dates are March 27-April 25.

VanLear will play Robert, the brilliant but mentally unbalanced mathematician who counsels his troubled daughter Catherine, who may or may not have inherited her dad's genius, as well as his instability.

Playing the daughter is Karen Aldridge. Catherine's sister Claire is portrayed by Ora Jones, and Dwain Perry is Hal, Catherine's timid suitor. The entire cast for the play is African-American—something sought by the Chuck Smith from the time the title was scheduled. The show is thought to be the first all-black professional staging of the play.

Proof began life at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2000. It then transferred to Broadway, where it ran for more than two years and won the Tony Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize.

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