Sunday, June 26, 2005
Douglas Poms on Metrostage's "The Last Five Years"
I saw the production of the Last 5 Years at Metrostage today with Joel, my uncle and a friend. It was really wonderful. Some of us had seen the piece performed Off-Broadway with now Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz and Sheri Rene Scott (all 3-named stars in a show composed by another 3-namer Jason Robert Brown). We were blown away then by the beautiful score and top-notch performances. Many of us (and others--it has a cult following) bought the CD and listened at least 100 times. I honestly thought that no local production could equal that superlative New York one. Well, this production at Metrostage does just that.
The Matrostage production succeeds on all levels. The score is as gorgeous as ever and the small orchestra (strings) is divine. The two performers again are excellent. Tracy Olivieri as Kathy gives one of the finest performances that have graced the Washington area stage in years. We're hoping she gets a Helen Hayes for this one (truly everyone involved deserves a nomination at least). The show is very moving, effectively capturing the heartbreak of a failed marriage. The storytelling is clever (each of the couple sings about the relationship in opposite chronology). The device is very effective in illustrating the irony of feelings present at different stages in the relationship and the exuberance but eventual disappointment that promised hope brings.
I encourage you all to see this excellent production of a special show. Joel is taking a group on July 17. Enjoy!