BWW Review: BRILLIANT TRACES at DreamWrights Center For Community Arts
Brilliant Traces, by Cindy Lou Johnson, was first performed in New York by the Circle Repertory Company. In the right hands it can be a beautifully absurd play with a mixture of humor and heart-wrenching revelations. Featuring just two actors, it relies heavily on intelligent directing and talented acting-it can easily become melodramatic and ridiculous or inane and boring. Thankfully, the production of Brilliant Traces at DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, directed by Andrea Unger and featuring Kirk Wisler and Catie Dinneen as Henry Harry and Rosannah Deluce, is both well-directed and well-acted.
The set, lighting, sound, and costumes are crafted perfectly to enhance the story, successfully bringing the audience into a cabin in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a snowstorm in Alaska. The only thing I could take issue with at all was that I occasionally missed a few of Dinneen's lines-mostly at the beginning of the show when Rosannah has this frantic and long monologue and once or twice when the character gets upset. However, given the sheer number of lines and depth of emotion in many of them, I was impressed with both Dinneen and Wisler's diction.
There are so many great moments-from Dinneen's very realistic faint near the beginning of the show to Wisler's wonderfully deliberate movements (a great contrast to Dinneen's frantic speech and movement). Both actors have clearly focused on the meaning and story behind their character's words, and they use their facial expressions, vocal tone, and movements to support their characters many words, stories, and emotions.
Director Andrea Unger does a great job at blocking this show, using movement to keep the story interesting without including anything that would be unnecessary or distracting. Wisler has tremendous comedic timing, highlighting the absurdity of the situation through strategic use of pauses. Dinneen particularly shines in her delivery of the story about how she came to leave her wedding, showing great control in the nuances in her tone and speech pattern.
Overall, this production of Brilliant Traces deserves a round of applause. The show only runs through October 6th. Don't miss out on seeing this beautifully crafted production; get your tickets at www.dreamwrights.org.