Madness and genius—two sides of the same rare coin—frequently lay together as two scandalous yet inseparable bedfellows. In Proof, the concept of this duality is examined in the context of a relationship between a recently deceased father and his daughter, both of whom are mathematicians. The daughter wonders if she has inherited her father's insanity, his mathematical genius, or both. Enter young student of Father Mathematical Genius who has heard word of his passing and picked up dropped hints that his late mentor had solved one of the more difficult proofs to be theorized. In order to be allowed access to his mentor's work, however, he must bypass the reasonably vitriolic and protective lioness daughter at the gate. As she questions just how much mathematical acumen/madness she has inherited, the young protégé battles to understand not only the proof, but also whether it was in fact his mentor who wrote it.
Directed by the illustriously funny and brilliantly talented Cynthia Ryannen (who has been with the Stages company for all of its 15 years), and starring the wonderful new addition of Kalinda Younger Gray (as well as Shaun Leslie Thomas, Joe Parrish and company regular Amanda DeMaio), this production promises to have a hell of a lot of genius behind it. Or is it madness?
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Proof at STAGEStheatre, 400 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 525-4484; www.stagesoc.org . Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. Through Aug. 5. $15-$18.