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“Kavinoky's Proof - a great New Year's start!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kavinoky Theater

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Kavinoky Theater
320 Porter Avenue, (on the campus of D'Youville College), Buffalo, NY 14201
716-881-7668
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Ranked #38 of 90 Attractions in Buffalo
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Kavinoky's Proof - a great New Year's start!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

When I was a young student, I detested math. Playwright David Auburn apparently fared much better in math. His Proof, written in 2000 won him the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Play.

Catherine (Jessica Wegrzyn) is the daughter of Robert (Peter Palmisano), a recently deceased math mastermind and University of Chicago professor. Unlike me in math class, she struggles with family genius but also fear of inherited illness thrown in to make her situation dicey.

Dad's grad student Hal (Jonathan Shuey) finds a dazzling proof about prime numbers locked in a desk drawer used by Catherine in Robert's office. For those who failed math like me, a prime number has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself. For example, 5 is a prime number because only 1 and 5 evenly divide it, whereas number 6 has divisors 2 and 3 in addition to 1 and 6. Are we clear? Would you like to hear my take on the square of the hypotenuse? I thought not.

The title refers both to Robert's supposed proof and the play's central question - can Catherine, who finds herself in a sudden relationship with 28-year-old Hal, prove its authorship? Like Barack Obama's bumpy management of health care, she desperately tries to maintain some control as Robert's later years involve bizarre delusions.

Harold is one of Robert's last Ph.D. students when his icon and inspirational mentor's illness goes into remission, and to round out the cast, Claire (Aleks Malejs) is Catherine's older sister, a gritty, take-charge type who fled to New York City to escape from her dysfunctional family.

Auburn has Catherine converse with her father in flashbacks that reveal conflicting desires and an academic career frustrated by arduous responsibilities nursing her sick father. Father and daughter express passion and sometimes anguish for math, and surprise, surprise, there is a strange taste of poetry in their theorems. Catherine's complications are multiple - grief, sibling rivalry, romantic strain, and the terrifying possibility of losing her mind, but what the play is ultimately about is trust, which makes this a terrific contemporary choice for Kavinoky Artistic Director Norman Sham and his excellent cast.

With Auburn's tight, terrific play, Artistic Director, David Lamb and Director, Norman Sham offer a wonderful start for Buffalo theatre's New Year at D'Youville College's Kavinoky Theatre, located just across the Peace Bridge for Canadians and well worth a visit. (Ticket price: $39)

Kavinoky is a bit of a treasure. When you enter D’Youville College, it’s like stepping back in time. The hallway is filled with terrific pictures of female classes circa early 1900s. Would you believe that this school is ultimately a direct result of 5 Grey nuns arriving here in Buffalo from Ottawa! I love the big black and white picture of the 1912 graduating class consisting of 27 young women. D’Youville was first in Western New York to allow women into college.

"Proof," by David Auburn at Kavinoky, 320 Porter Avenue Buffalo, NY 14201 (716) 829-7668 runs to February 2. See: http://www.kavinokytheatre.com/ for more details.

Visited January 2014
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4 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Buffalo, New York
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“One of the Great Proscenium Theaters in Buffalo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

This is truly one of the best things Buffalo has to offer. One would never expect a theater like this to exist when one walks up the prosiac concrete steps in front of D'Youville College. then you get inside and Bam it is like something like the experience Dorothy must have had when she first discovers Oz. Then it gets better. The quality of the productions you will see there are without peer anywher in America. Don't believe me: than catch the next show, and you tell me. And you won't pay a quarter of what you would for a show on Broadway. At the rist of sounding redundant, this is truly one of the best kept secrets in Buffalo, if you like remarkable theater.

Visited September 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
buffalo
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Excellent theater !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

The Kavinoky Theater is located on the campus of D'Youville College. I have seen many productions and have never been disappointed. Every seat is excellent with good sight lines. It has a balcony (be careful - it's rather steep up there but you can see wonderfully)The sets are fabulous! They are so detailed and always add such a realistic touch to every play. You can tell that a lot of care & attention to detail was taken in their creation. Also, my friends mistakenly thought that the actors were students from the college but that's not the case. These are professional actors and you are bound to catch some of the better known actors in Buffalo like Saul Elkin and Lisa Ludwig, among many other excellent thespians. There is a concession stand selling candy, cookies , coffee, tea, soft drinks & bottles water (also available in the theater itself) but no alcoholic beverages. Definitely take in a production & you won't be sorry. This theater is so much more intimate than Sheas yet very ornate too. Lots of free parking available.

Visited November 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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