For Something Different, “The Last Five Years”
By Skip Sheffield
Looking for something different in live theater? Evening Star Productions is offering “The Last Five Years” through Aug. 2 at Sol Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton.
“Last Five Years” is a two-person musical by Jason Robert Brown, whose musical “Parade” was produced by Slow Burn Theatre last season. It has a different kind of structure from what we are used to in a play. Events unfold backward for Cathy (Sara Grant) and forward for Jamie (Ben Sandomir). At about the midpoint of the 90-minute performance, Cathy and Jamie meet in the same time frame for their marriage. Be forewarned this is not a happy musical. It is about the breakup of a marriage, from two points of view. It begins with Cathy in the depths of despair and Jamie giddy with the hope of new love. The songs are not simple but tricky. You won’t hear a “hit single,” but you will hear deeply thought, insightful lyrics about the fleeting qualities of romantic love.
Sol Theatre regular Sara Grant (she is founder Rosalie Grant’s daughter) is a good singer and very effective actress. Ben Sandomir is a good actor and an exceptional singer. The way he caresses high notes is simply beautiful. Also exceptional is violinist Lehins Aragon, who caresses notes in concert with the singers. Also in the three-piece band are musical director and pianist Jason Buelow and a very young bassist named Brad Miller.
“The Last Five Years” is not the kind of musical that will leave you singing a favorite tune. However, it will get you thinking about what you might have done wrong in your own love life. For me the answer is plenty, but “It is better to have loved and lost…”
Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Aug. 2. Tickets are $25 ($10 students. Call 561-447-8829.