Before it becomes a national tour, a new production of the Pulitzer Prize winning Proof gets its concurrent-with-Broadway regional premiere at Seattle Repertory Theatre, opening Oct. 15 following previews that began Oct. 8.
Robert Foxworth, late of TV's "Falcon Crest," headlines the new staging of the David Auburn play, again under the direction of Daniel Sullivan, who won a Tony in June helming the Broadway bow. After the resident Seattle run, the company and set go on the road to become the national tour — first stop is San Francisco's Curran Theatre Nov. 27 — playing dates into 2002. The Seattle Rep run lasts to Nov. 10. Recreating their Broadway work are designers John Lee Beatty (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Pat Collins (lighting) and John Gromada (music and sound design).
Foxworth plays Robert, the mentally-strained math genius whose troubles impact his sensitive daughter, Catherine, played by newcomer Chelsea Altman. The Auburn 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. Auburn won both the 2001 Tony for Best Play and the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Proof.
The four-actor cast also includes Stephen Kunken as Hal, a math student of Robert's at the University of Chicago and a would-be suitor to Catherine, and Tasha Lawrence as Catherine's brittle New York sister, Claire. Kunken, the summer 2001 Broadway standby for the role of Hal, played the part opposite original star Mary-Louise Parker.
* Foxworth is a TV, film and stage actor perhaps best known for his work as wine maker Chase Gioberti in the long-running prime-time drama, "Falcon Crest." He was seen on Broadway recently in Judgment at Nuremberg. Previous Broadway credits include Honour opposite Jane Alexander, and Ivanov at Lincoln Center.
Newcomer Altman has landed one of the American theatre's recent plum roles for young women. Audiences aren't sure throughout the play if Catherine has inherited her father's genius — and illness. Altman most recently appeared on Broadway in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and A View from the Bridge. Her other stage credits include Collected Stories at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Monogamist at Playwrights Horizons and Taking Steps at The Alley Theatre.
Kunken's Off-Broadway credits include Arthur Laurents' Home of the Brave, Tony Kushner's The Dybbuk, Misalliance and Henry VIII. Lawrence's theatre credits include Wilder, Wilder, Wilder on Broadway, and Benjamin Constant, The Director and Loose Ends.
Proof continues its hit Broadway run at the Walter Kerr. Mary-Louise Parker exited the show Sept. 9, as did Ben Shenkman and Johanna Day. Jennifer Jason Leigh stepped into the role of Catherine on Broadway Sept. 14.
The play opened Off-Broadway May 23, 2000 to wide critical acclaim, and played a sold-out, extended run at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage I. It opened on Broadway Oct. 24, 2000.
The tour will visit San Francisco's Curran Theatre, Sacramento's Community Theatre, Houston's Wortham Center, Boston's Wilbur Theatre, Philadelphia's Merriam Theatre, Baltimore's Morris Mechanic Theatre, Dallas' Majestic Theatre, Minneapolis' State Theatre, Chicago's Shubert Theatre, Palm Beach's Royal Poinciana Playhouse, Detroit's Fisher Theatre, Pittsburgh's Byham Theatre and Los Angeles' Wilshire Theatre.
Proof plays the Bagley Wright Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theatre. For ticket information, call (206) 443-2222 or visit www.seattlerep.org.