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'Proof' evidence of a Broadway hit

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NEW YORK -- "Proof" may be playwright David Auburn's first Broadway production, but he's had plenty of experience with critical praise for his freshman work.

"Proof" and its star, Mary-Louise Parker, both won plaudits during the play's run last spring at the Manhattan Theater Club. The kudos continued Tuesday when it opened on Broadway.

Auburn intertwines family drama with a mathematical mystery in the play. Parker plays Catherine, who gives up a college education to care for her brilliant but mentally ill father.

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Mary Louise Parker on her role as the daughter of a mentally ill mathematician ...

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Where writer David Auburn got the idea for "Proof" ...

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After her father dies, Catherine tries to figure out who wrote a mathematical proof found among his belongings. At the same time, she wonders how much madness and genius she's inherited from him.

Parker gave up a role in a Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms" to star in Auburn's production, but said she doesn't regret the move. It hardly took a genius to see that "Proof" could amount to something big, she said.

"It comes down to: Do you want to do it eight times a week?" she said. "I love doing this play."

Critics also apparently love "Proof," and have showered the play with superlatives. Auburn, 31, has similar nice things to say about Parker, claiming her presence lends star appeal to the production.

"We did need her to move to Broadway. That was part of the package," he said. "And part of the excitement and success of the show was her performance in it, so her decision to stay with us made all the difference."

CNN Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist contributed to this report.



RELATED SITES:
Broadway.com
Proof
Theatre.com

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