Review by Bob Rich
Brilliant Traces is set in a remote cabin, a fitting metaphor for the lives of the two characters in the play who have been living in protected isolation. The gradual, gently bending affection between these two characters, portrayed by Caroline Gottlieb and Tomas Pais, is authentically poignant.
The woman wakes up, disoriented, on a couch inside the man’s cabin. The man, sitting at a table across the room, tries to reassure her with friendly words, but he is uncomfortable in her presence. As the two keep talking, the sorrow in their lives becomes apparent. The woman has fled from her own wedding ceremony. The man has been living alone awhile. Yet, as they keep talking, traces of warmth start to glow in their icy rapport.
Gottlieb is completely believable as a troubled woman on the run. Likewise, Pais is utterly convincing as a man devoted to solitude.
The cabin is sparse and barren, with barely any household items, symbolizing the man’s empty life.
The writing is skillfully paced and refreshingly realistic. What’s more, Gottlieb and Pais deliver performances full of grace and subtlety.
“Brilliant Traces” takes place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 7pm, through Sunday, July 1. (No performances on Friday, June 22, Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24. Performances on Sunday, July 1 are at 2pm and 8pm.) Tickets are $15 and available at BrilliantTracesLosAngeles.com or by calling (800) 838-3006. The Beverly Hills Playhouse is located at 254 S. Robertson Blvd. in Beverly Hills.