The Last 5 Years - April 22, 2004
Michael Englebert, AM740 Radio

Tyler Ross and Blythe Wilson sparkle and glitter in Jason Robert Brown's " The Last 5 Years," which opened at the Berkeley Street Theatre last night.  This intimate musical is autobiographical about Brown's five-year relationship – meeting, marriage and break up.  We see this from the perspective of Jamie, a brash young author, and Cathy, an insecure performer.  Cathy, in song, tells us about the relationship starting with the break up and going back to their first meeting, while Jamie begins with that first meeting working towards the break up.  Jamie becomes a successful author while Cathy fails in her efforts to be an actress.

Author Jason Robert Brown is creating a reputation for himself as the new creator of intimate musicals and has been mentioned in the same company as Stephen Sondheim.  Brown's music and lyrics are eclectic and sparkling.  Your attention is grabbed right from the start and you are involved in this relationship between Jamie and Cathy.  The story and the emotions are contemporary.  Tyler Ross and Blythe Wilson give us five-star performances – you should see this show if for no other reason than to experience their amazing performances.  Some of the staging could be improved and the set doesn't really enhance the story.  

Overall: 4 stars out of 5

"The Last 5 Years"  is currently playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre until May 29th.
Michael Englebert / AM 740©