McCoy Rigby Entertainment and La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts have reimagined this gem of a musical in a wonderfully creative way and the result is truly something special. If you are one of the few who has not seen the show before, or if you've only seen it produced on a small scale, this is memorable work you don't want to miss.
What this revival of THE LAST FIVE YEARS does, so beautifully, is breathe. That contrast between ease and Jamie's mounting suffocation and Cathy's frustration, delivers an even more powerful emotional journey than usual.
Director Nick DeGruccio and his technical trifecta - Stephen Gifford (scenic design), Steven Young (lighting), and Keith Skretch (video) - surround Jamie and Cathy with the story of their life in a way that never overpowers them but still gives the audience a window into their world on a grand scale.
Their joy and heartache becomes even more fragile with so much "air" around them, and DeGruccio weaves it all together elegantly.
His staging reveals as much about their relationship as what Brown has written. One of the most ironic moments is the transition from Cathy's audition to a public reading of Jamie's book. It happens without a word but the subtext behind the purposeful upstaging is clear. DeGruccio also positions the non-active character on stage in separate parallel scenes which makes the handoff from one to the other seem effortless.
La Mirada Theatre's revival of THE LAST FIVE YEARS is a breathtaking production that balances subtlety with sweeping passion. Its arrow aims right for the heart and lands with eloquent precision over and over again. Bring tissues.
Ellen Dostal BroadwayWorld