Proof | EW.com

News

Proof If you've seen a better new play this year, call me; if you've seen a better lead performance in your lifetime, you've seen plays I haven't seen. From...Proof If you've seen a better new play this year, call me; if you've seen a better lead performance in your lifetime, you've seen plays I haven't seen. From...2000-11-10
A

Proof

Starring: Mary-Louise Parker; Director: Daniel Sullivan; Author: David Auburn

If you’ve seen a better new play this year, call me; if you’ve seen a better lead performance in your lifetime, you’ve seen plays I haven’t seen. From the moment that Mary-Louise Parker speaks her first lines, she inhabits the role of the daughter of a disturbed genius the way the heart inhabits the chest. What’s most remarkable about her acting is how there’s not a trace of acting in it. When she erupts in rage at her overbearing sister, you wince in pained empathy; when she seduces her father’s student (the excellent Ben Shenkman), you want (vainly) to avert your eyes from the scene’s breathtaking intimacy — despite the fact that it’s played fully clothed and consists of but two brief kisses. It’s unfair (and needlessly intimidating) to say David Auburn’s first commercially produced play — he’s just 31 — is about a mathematician and his daughter, when at its core it’s actually about the complications and consequences of familial love. Only a somewhat pat ending mars this stimulating, moving, and ultimately thrilling evening. Check that: Not even a somewhat pat ending does it damage. This Proof is bulletproof. A