The Last Five Years

musicals and operas · oscar productions · Ages 16+ · United States

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J G uncertified reviewer June 11, 2012
This presentation of L5Y was certainly well executed and directed. But let's face it, this really is a showcase piece for the talents of Aly French. Her skills as a vocalist are so impressive it's crazy. And her vocal prowess is barely exceeded by her acting abilities and the FULL range of emotions her character displays. Really moving, very human, totally relatable. This woman is a star. A great big shining star. ... full review
BOB LEGGETT uncertified reviewer June 21, 2012
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... full review
DANIEL AYLWORTH uncertified reviewer June 27, 2012
What can I say, I loved this play! The acting was spectacular, and the singing was fantastic. I particularly loved the performance of Nate Aylworth who played the role of "Jamie." This young actor is truly destined for greatness in the theatre, and I can't wait to see his next performance. But what do I know, I'm just his father.... full review
CINDY MARIE JENKINS certified reviewer June 09, 2012
Wonderful storytelling and imagery, anyone at any stage of a relationship will be affected by The Last Five Years. I went into it naive of the music and details, and the two actors Nate and Aly completely drew me into their internal and external lives. Brown's lyrics and timing give great insight into how two talented people in love in their twenties can...well, let's just say they don't make the best choices all of the time. When they do, and their timing actually works out for the best, you wish you could stay in that moment forever. Musical direction and overall direction work very well together, transforming a few red blocks into many different times, locations and emotions.... full review
ANONYMOUS certified reviewer June 17, 2012
This is the 2nd time I have seen this musical. I found that the transitions between timelines were not always so clear. I found Aly really the star of this production. Her voice was pitch perfect and felt her emotions through her singing. Enjoyed the play overall though having known the story it was easier to understand the timeline. ... full review
SHARI BARRETT certified reviewer June 18, 2012
“The Last Five Years” is a contemporary, award winning, musical written by Tony award winning composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Songs For A New World, 13). It was cited as one of Time Magazine’s “Ten Best of 2001” and won Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics. The musical chronicles a five year marriage, from beginning to end … or from end to beginning, depending on how you look at it, through song. Oscar Productions presents with Peter Berube directing the show at the Complex as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. “The Last Five Years” is an intensely personal look at the 5-year relationship between a rising novelist, Jamie Wellerstein (Nate Aylworth) and Cathy Hyatt (Aly French), a struggling actress. ... full review
LEE BREISACHER certified reviewer June 20, 2012
We have seen this show done many times before, with varying levels of quality. This one was, to be honest, mixed. Aly was excellent, as others have said. Nate was ok, but his voice was not quite strong enough. But the biggest problem was the staging -- there was way too much interaction between the characters and way too much of them being in the same scenes together. It just confuses things. The show is hard enough to follow (for first timers) even when it is done "right" -- with the characters alternating songs and only interacting in the one central wedding scene. But with the mingling of characters in each other's numbers, it just made it a mush to follow. The scene with Jamie in bed with another woman was majorly confusing if you didn't... full review
JEFF RUBINSTEIN certified reviewer June 17, 2012
This was an extremely enjoyable performance. Like the previous reviewers mentioned, Aly French was just spectacular as Cathy. She was emotive, energetic and spot on. Nate Aylworth too was just incredible as Jamie. He brought his own flair to a role dominated in my mind by Norbert Leo Butz and he did an excellent job (even as Schmuel!). It looks like Nate was also the producer and thus deserves a lot of credit for staging this excellent performance in LA. And the piano player! (Lauren Fraley maybe?) Jason Brown's music seems like quite an incredible challenge but it came across as effortless with strong musicality. I'd waited many years to see this musical on stage. This production didn't disappoint at all. I recommend it.... full review