Friday, September 22, 2017


Aaron Lamb and Katherine Strohmaier in The Last Five Years (Scot Whitney)
The Last Five Years
AK-L5 Productions
Through October 2, 2017

Lots of people have performed the musical The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown for many reasons: it's a two-hander (only uses two actors); often people who think it would be good to do are musical theater couples already; it doesn't need a lot of set; it doesn't need a lot of musicians; it can pretty much be done anywhere. Also, it has a cool kind of way to tell the story of a five year relationship: one person tells it "forward" and the other person tells it "backward."

It's not really a feel-good musical because it's not a feel-good relationship. The relationship failed and you know that going in. So what you get to do is stew around in the relationship for the time of the show, but you get to hear some amazing music and terrific songs. Jason Robert Brown is really a genius, despite the fact that you'll probably think he's an asshole by the end of seeing L5Y! He wrote it pretty autobiographically  though much of his writing tends that way, anyway.

If you have never seen any version and even if you have, you should try to hurry over to Taproot's Isaac Studio to see Katherine Strohmaier and Aaron Lamb do it. They are only performing these two weeks and you'll miss them to your detriment. Why is this so definitive? Well, they both sing the shit out of the music and play ALL the piano! So, aside from some deft help with some projections and videos by Amy Chisman, it's just the two of them all the time. 

I can't think of any better way to see this musical. I hope I don't have any friends in the future that make me feel like I need to see them, because I really don't want to have to overlay another production on top of this one. So, be there or be square. Or convince them to do it again later.

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