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Brilliant Traces

ensemble theatre · theatre before saddle · Ages 6+ · family friendly · United States

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Review by BILL RATNER

June 16, 2013 certified reviewer

My overall impression

I had a hunch halfway through this terrific evening of postmodern absurdist theater that other than the crowd I saw it with, there must be nights where the audience is cracking up and guffawing at Brilliant Traces, like some do at a Beckett play. Cindy Lou Johnson’s cracked, poetic, darkly funny, and at turns deeply emotional play forced me to my desktop to google the night away trying to find out more about this playwright. I loved this play, but if the acting hadn’t been as good as it was from Riley Rose Critchlow and Clay Elliott, I might have been lost. It’s an hour and twenty minutes that ranges from brilliant storytelling, to dark absurdism, to an evocation of what the hell is wrong with men and women—together and alone—in love and yearning, avoidance and insanity. Riley brilliantly evokes the panic, outrage, and grief afforded her by this truly odd story, and Clay is every bit her equal, as the man—shy, tender, sentimental, apologetic, raging, dangerous, unhinged. GO.

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