The Last Five Years review

The Last Five Years review

It was a moment of sweetness and heart-melting when seeing a lovely young couple expressing their love for each other in the most romantic way—singing.

There were even some in the audience shedding their tears when Jamie finally proposed to Cathy (played by Jon Chew and Tabitha Kong respectively) while singing the lovely duet “The Next Ten Minutes”.

It all happened in the romantic yet emotionally-charged two-person musical “The Last Five Years” during the opening night on 10 March at klpac.

The musical was written by Jason Robert Brown where the story was inspired by his own failed marriage. The musical was premiered in Chicago in 2001, then produced off-Broadway in March 2002 and now brought in to Kuala Lumpur by klpac directed by Christopher Ling.

The story telling was indeed very interesting. It began with two distinct opposite sides of the story, just like how the stage was designed in a runway-like setup.

On one side, there was Jamie—a rising novelist—who was in love with the struggling actress he just met—Cathy—five years earlier. While on the other side, there was Cathy, sitting alone weeping over the failed marriage, five years later.

The story started to evolve as Jamie’s story moving forward to tell how he was obsessed with Cathy while Cathy’s story moving backwards to reveal how their marriage fell apart.

Jamie and Cathy did not interact directly with each other not until their stories intersect in the middle as they got married.

The story was told in a pure musical way and had minimum conversation. It can never be more entertaining listening to two good singers Jon and Tabitha soaring their beautiful voices through the songs.

The songs are definitely one of the highlights of the musical. They cleverly captured the immense joy, disappointment, heartbroken and hilarity of the characters with its graceful yet catchy melodies together with a four-piece live band.

Projecting pictures onto the background at both sides of the stage is a rather interesting way of narrating the environment and the different stages of the characters. However, from the setup and costume itself it was difficult to tell at first sight that Jamie is a writer and Cathy is an actress until they sung it out in the songs.

As the musical drew to the end, the story came to a full circle where Cathy now indulged in the state of love with Jamie while on the other hand, Jamie waves goodbye to Cathy as he walked away and never return.

The story ended in the most ironic way which left the audience baffling their emotions between the sweetest and the darkest moment in a relationship.

The story strikes us in the heart with what most of us deem to be the dilemma of the modern society where you have your dreams in one hand and your relationship in the other. If you can relate to what has happened to Jamie and Cathy, you should definitely catch the show right away.

The Last Five Years” is playing from 10 - 20 March 2011 at klpac, Kuala Lumpur with tickets priced at RM35 and RM23.

Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek of the show on the opening night on 10 March 2011.

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