The marriage of 20-somethings Cathy and Jamie is doomed from the start in Jason Robert Brown’s chamber musical The Last Five Years.
The opening scene recounts the bitter breakup from her point of view before he appears to rhapsodize about their first meeting. Over the next 85 minutes, the couple alternatively relive their lives together, going opposite directions in time.
This creates a bittersweet vibe, owing to the ever-presence of both the agony and the ecstasy of their relationship.
You don’t need much more than an engaging pair of singer/actors to produce The Last Five Years, presented at the MTC Warehouse in 2005, and Edmonton’s Chelsea Rankin and Brennan Cuff are that.
Rankin captures Cathy’s shaky confidence (as an actor) which undermines her marriage, while Cuff nicely communicates Jamie’s frustration with being made to feel guilty for succeeding as a novelist.
Hate the venue, which forces one side of the audience to have to strain to hear a singer on the other side of the stage.
— Kevin Prokosh
From the official Fringe program:
An emotionally powerful and intimate musical about a rising novelist and a struggling actress who fall in and out of love over a period of five years.
It is an unconventional method of storytelling: the man’s story starts at the first meeting and ends in the present; the woman's starts in the present and works back to the first time they met.
RECOMMENDED: General Audience
Venue#4 Onstage at the Playhouse 180 Market Ave (Entrance on John Hirsch Pl)