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Without a doubt, 'Proof' drama rings true

Jun 02 2012
Darrell Hofheinz | Palm Beach Daily News

In a play that's all about proof, there's plenty of doubt to go around. And that's a good thing for audiences at Palm Beach Dramaworks, where playwright David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof is on view in a taut, nuanced production marked by memorable performances from its four actors. As the play begins, Catherine is clearly depressed. We eventually learn why, via her interactions with others as well as a series of extended flashbacks that are handled seamlessly, thanks in great part to Katherine Michelle Tanner's adroit transformations as Catherine. Director William Hayes, who is also the theater's producing artistic director, does his part, too, building dramatic momentum as surely as a mathematician works through an intricate problem. ...As effective as Tanner is, she is matched in Sarah Grace Wilson's pitch-perfect portrayal of the older sister... ...As the father, Robert, Kenneth Kay delivers a deceptively quiet performance that builds steam until his tour-de-force second-act encounter with a home-from-college Catherine... ...thanks to designer Michael Amico's effective backyard set. Rich Szczublewski's sound design is also praiseworthy, making use of evocative guitar strains to heighten moments and ease transitions. Erin Amico's costumes are just right, as is the lighting design by Ron Burns, particularly so at the very end of the play, as a warm, compassionate glow encompasses two characters who have only begun to brush away their doubts.