The winning streak continues at Cabrillo Stage with its new production of "The Last Five Years," the second offering in the company's 30th Anniversary season. More of a song cycle than a conventional musical play, the show is a tightrope duet that takes its two performers through an entire romance, from joyous beginnings to bitter end. The songs won't be familiar to most audiences, and the staging is intense: two people onstage in the intimate Black Box Theater for an hour and a half, without an intermission. But as a showcase for two terrific Cabrillo Stage veterans, Andrew Ceglio and Ariel Buck, it's a knockout.
Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, the story-songs in "The Last Five Years" touch on every aspect of love and romance (goofy jubilation to disenchantment, rage, and poignant regret) in the five-year relationship of Jamie Wellerstein (Ceglio), a young novelist on his way up, and Cathy Hiatt (Buck), an aspiring actress whose career has stalled. In the show's high-concept structure, Cathy sings her story starting at the end of their marriage, going backward in time, while Jamie moves forward through their relationship from beginning to end.
While both characters are onstage throughout, they rarely participate in the same song together; their opposing viewpoints (one always looking backward with regret, the other looking forward with hope) play in counterpoint to each other. (Read more)
And speaking of Cabrillo Stage, this weekend is your last chance to catch up with their insanely fun and frisky production of The Full Monty. I loved this show to pieces, so don't you dare miss it! (Click here for details.)