Don’t be apprehensive that the plot involves math. Math is a vehicle that carries the passion characters feel for their calling; it conjures up images of elegance and the various meanings of “proof.” (Be sure to read Mary’s director’s note, which includes these definitions.)
I’m generally dumbfounded by what people find “elegant” in higher mathematics, but I’m impressed with the verbal elegance of the Pulitzer and Tony-Winning script. It adds and subtracts years as it reveals the answers and questions and clues, outside of chronological order, but just as we need to know them. (The program outlines these time shifts.) This play gives us four very real people, calculating their relationships to each other and to the future.
Doak Bloss relishes and inhabits the role of the brilliant but mentally unstable father in his various states of mind and reality/unreality. Cassie Little is excellent in the challenging role of his daughter, Catherine, who shares his brilliance, and perhaps his mental illness. Joe Dickson is perfect as the adorably geeky, passionate, awkward, pivotal character, student of the father, love interest of the daughter, door to the mathematical future. Shannon Bowen shines in the tricky role of the feet-on-the-ground sister trying to connect/help but not on the same wavelength.
Costumes/lights/sound (some great Chicago Blues, and Lansing’s Whiskey Diski - see program) are all well done — and the set was a very realistic brick-house back yard. (Set construction: Mark Mandenberg & Jeff Miller; set painting - super brick art by Kelley McNabb, LeAnn Dethlefsen and Mary Job.)
It’s also worth noting that the sometimes troublesome temperature in the climate-UNcontrolled, rustic, theatre in Fitzgerald park was also ideal tonight — AND there’s a beautiful quilt hanging in the lobby, with tiny math equations in the fabric, up for silent auction.
Fitzgerald Park in Grand LedgeFREE parking if you’re going to the theatre.I-96 to exit 93-A (M-43/Saginaw Hwy. West). Travel six miles to Jefferson St. (M-100) and turn right. Park entrance is on the left about l/2 mile.133 Fitzgerald Park Dr. Grand Ledge 48837 — if you’re doing GPS.
Tickets available at the door and at:www.overtheledge.org