Perky, sexy, funny, charming -- and perhaps above all, bright -- Ms. Edmonston is about as winning an actress as one could hope to see. As formidable as her gifts is her persona, refreshing as iced lemonade on a hot day and unique as a Picasso canvas. You haven't seen the tough, wry gal with the hidden wellspring of vulnerability until you've seen it delivered by this twinkle-eyed redhead. In short: You can't take your eyes off her -- not that you'd want to!
-- David Spencer, Aislesay.com
PROOF, Playhouse Merced, CA:
"Rebecca Edmonston is well cast as Catherine's successful, older New Yorker sister, Claire. She is sympathetic as the practical relative who must continually pick up the pieces for her less functional family members."
-- Lisa Millegan, Modesto Bee
"Rebecca Edmonston's Dolly shows her ostentatious goofiness!"
-- Annie Get Your Gun, Cornwell's Dinner Theatre
By LISA MILLEGAN
BEE ARTS WRITER
'Proof' Puts Playhouse Merced Cast, Crew to Test
published: Friday, March 7th,
MERCED -- The 2001 Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play 'Proof' makes its Northern San Joaquin Valley premiere next week at Playhouse Merced.
The drama, written by David Auburn, centers on a 25-year-old woman's complicated relationship with her recently deceased math genius father.
The title refers to a brilliant mathematical proof found among her father's papers, but the play is more about the struggle for individual potential than numbers, said Claude Giroux, who is directing the Merced production.
'I saw this show on Broadway when it opened and I just absolutely fell in love with it,' he said. 'It's a very smart play, but it's a very simple story about dealing with your family heritage and about struggling to understand how that plays out in your life.'
Catherine, the young woman, has spent years caring for her father, Robert. He was a renowned theorist until age 25, then struggled with mental illness the rest of his life. Catherine wonders if she, too, will become insane.
She also must contend with her recently returned older sister, Claire, and her father's ambitious former graduate student, Hal.
Mary Louise Parker created the role of Catherine on Broadway and was followed in the part by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Anne Heche.
Leslie Johnston, a California State University, Stanislaus, student, will play the role in Merced. Stanislaus State theater faculty member John Mayer will play her father, while former New Yorker Rebecca Edmonston will play Claire. Dan Walters, who plays Hal, is the only person who has acted in Playhouse Merced shows before, but all the actors have previous stage experience.
Giroux said the show is the only serious, straight play in his company's season and is challenging for his cast.
'It's hard work,' Giroux said. 'After they've worked for three or four hours, they're drained because some of it is so emotional.' The production also is difficult for his technical crew because it uses a particularly elaborate set, with a full house and a porch.
Adding to the pressure, 'Proof' opens just 12 days after Playhouse Merced's current show, 'Forever Plaid,' closes.
But Giroux said all the work is worth it because the play is so compelling. He said the show will cater to people who want something deeper than standard musicals.
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