Standing outside the Complex on Saturday, waiting for a show to begin, I overheard a conversation between Peter Berube and a fan of his show. The conversation intrigued me enough to ask about the show, The Last Five Years. Already a fan of Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for the New World,” I agreed to check it out. It was a wise decision.
Although I previously chided the presentation of Virginia City for being an opera without dialogue to understand the show, The Last Five Years is, in fact basically an opera – there is no dialogue (other than the numerous telephone exchanges), but the main difference is that the story is more than adequately conveyed through the songs.
Add to that the impeccable performance of Aly French and the solid work of Nate Aylworth and you are left with an amazing piece of work, simply staged but still worthy of the effort.
As mentioned by other reviewers, the timeline can be a bit confusing at times, but the overall effect is a compelling story about love, relationships, human fraility and ambition.
The story of two professionals growing apart as they succeed in their respective careers has been done before, but is still compelling theater. I recommend the show.
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