Written by Patrick Chavis
Saddleback College’s production of Proof, now playing at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo from May 6 – 15, is a fun, emotional romp chock-full of nerdy drama.
Set in Chicago, Proof centers around the character of Catherine, a mathematician wonderfully played by Angelina White. Catherine is the daughter of Robert, played by Charlie Massey, a mathematical genius who falls into severe mental illness later in life. The play explores Catherine’s struggles of following in her father’s footsteps and its toll on her older sister Claire, played by Kelly Garett, and her dad’s student Hal, played by Richie Cratty.
Proof has a standard two-act play structure with an intermission in the middle. The play’s dialogue is entertaining and clever. While the play is primarily dramatic, there are some funny moments to break up the conversations. The play gives us enough time with each character to understand the relationship dynamics among the characters. However, the romantic conflict veers close to sappy.
The stage looks like a rustic, weathered outdoor wooden patio. On top of the patio is a comfortable armchair, and to the left of the stage are two white straw chairs. The backdrop is a deep blue sky created with a projector. Blue lighting covers the set. On the right and left of the stage are wooden reeds giving the set a beach feel. In between the reeds are many crumpled papers that look like gibberish from a distance, but it’s probably some formula as the show is called Proof, and it’s themed around mathematics.
This play has some excellent actors. Charlie Massey plays Robert so well. He takes you on a convincingly emotional journey. You get to know the father through his performance, which is one of the better performances in Orange County this year.
Actress Angelina White gives a solid, robust, believable performance throughout the show.