August 15, 2014

Damn Good Theater: Proof, Reviewed


Photo Credit: Matt Hardy

Greer Caldwell is Catherine; John Olive is her father, Robert, in Proof.

I didn't expect much from a play about a mathematition losing his mind while his family tries to cope, but I didn't count on what a good playwright, interpreted by fine acting, can do to elucidate the human condition and hold your attention all the way through. Proof, as directed by Beth Kozinsky moves nimbly from scene to scene on a finely designed and eminently workable set, with just the right amount of music to carry us through.

John Olive, as Robert, the genius mathematician whose brain has burned out, gives a riveting performance, with some wit to it, too. Greer Caldwell, as his daughter Catherine, is amazing in the range of emotions she projects. She is the center of this drama, and she holds it together and draws us in. Vanessa Outlaw plays Catherine's sister, Claire, who threatens to upset Catherine's delicate balance by her heavyhanded assumption of responsibility for her sister's wellbeing. And then there's Briton Dean, who hits just exactly the right note as  Hal, a former student of Robert's now interested in his notebooks and in  Catherine. Watching love spring from mathematical concepts is delicious.

Just Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15-17 left in Proof's run: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday at the Athens Community Theatre behind the Taylor-Grady House at Prince Avenue and Grady Avenue. Call 706-208-TOWN for tickets.