After Hours Theatre Company presents Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years, now playing at the Other Space at the Actor’s Company. It is a production like no other, providing the audience with an immersive multi sensory experience pre-show (curated cocktails in the mix); and 360 sound throughout the performance. Romantic scents of rose, hibiscus and lavender infuse the audience’s spirits and mood as we experience the magnificent vocal talents of Janel Parrish and Scott Porter. In song and lyrical whimsy, the two phenomenal singer/actors deliver a poetic paeon to the love story/relationship of Cathy and Jamie. Each musical number is an intimate story in and of itself. “Shiksa Goddess” reveals a glimmer of Jamie’s (Scott Porter) ideal yet unattainable mate; while “A Summer in Ohio” is an expression of Cathy’s fears of a ‘no thrills, no frills’ hum drum love life. These two soul mates make some intimate connections in some pieces, while seem like two ships passing through the night in others. Career and curveballs get in the way of a long lasting bond. The movement, lighting, and costumes enhance the overall show. The opening song, “Still Hurting,” sets the tone, as Janel Parrish (Cathy) soulfully laments on what could have been. Its basically a message about painful choices, and the road less taken, as it were, to the promise of life long love. Jamie and Cathy provide further hopes of connection and romance in “A Miracle Would Happen/When you Come Home to Me.”
Each memorable musical vignette is an entire story on its own; and with each facial expression and natural chemistry, the actors instantly reveal their persona and we truly feel their angst.
“The Last Five Years” is the ultimate musical theatre extravaganza about the ultimate fantasy of finding the perfect mate of one’s dreams in each evocative number. Another beautiful touch is how Cathy and Jamie sing out their story backwards and forwards, rather than chronologically, bringing fantasies into juxtaposition with real life romance.
This musical production is at one a powerful serenade of life and love’s precarious challenges and new beginnings, performed by a cohesive duo. The After Hours Theatre Company is a great example of small musical theatre offerings here in our city of angels.
Through July 14
Thursdays, Fridays,Saturdays 8pm; Sundays 7 pm
916 N Formosa