Saturday, December 26, 2009

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #5 - The Last Five Years

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #5 - The Last Five Years (2003, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Plays & Players Theatre, Philadelphia, PA)

Introduction: Hard as it is to comprehend that we're already 119 months into this "new" millennium, we are fast approaching the end of its first decade. While we have yet to agree on what exactly we should call the '00s, I'll take a cue from the fine folks at The Times of London and the BBC and henceforth refer to them at the Noughties.

With that small introduction, I'm pleased to present my list of plays and musicals that wowed me the most during that time. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of shows I've seen over the last ten years, I give you my countdown of my 25 personal favorite shows of the Noughties.

The original and Off-Broadway versions of Jason Robert Brown's ingenious musical The Last Five Years came and went before I had an opportunity to see them. Yet on a complete lark, I found myself at Philadelphia's intimate Plays and Players Theatre in early 2003 and fell in love with this captivating two-hander about falling in and out of love.

While vaguely reminiscent of Stephen Sondheim's underrated Merrily We Roll Along, The Last Five Years ups the ante by literally and effortlessly telling the story of lost love backwards and forwards. Although that might make your head spin, I was dizzy with delight from Joe Calarco's brilliant direction, Michael Clark's spellbinding projection design and the remarkable Nicole van Giesen as Cathy and the wonderful Wayne Wilcox as her husband Jamie.

Over five years after first swooning to this musical and its intelligent, ravishing score, The Last Five Years remains one of the best shows I've ever seen.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post. I paid my own way for this performance.

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At 26 December, 2009, Blogger crossoverman said...

I love Last Five Years so much. I was intimately knowledgeable of the score before I ever saw the show and then I saw two different productions last year alone. It's such an exquisite piece of theatre - a simple story, beautifully told.

At 26 December, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Glad I struck a chord with you. I think I had the CD from the Off-Broadway show on continuous rotation for at least a year. Need to give it a listen again soon.

At 26 December, 2009, Blogger Linda said...

I love The Last Five Years too. I wish I could have seen Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott in this (I saw a college production), but at least I have the cast recording.


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