There are only four performances left for the ReVision Theatre’s run of “The Last Five Years.” This musical show being performed in Asbury Park is well worth going to. In fact, this is a show that could do well for many more weeks if only the schedule would allow it.
“The Last 5 Years” is a musical by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown. It is the story of an aspiring young Jewish man who meets and falls in love with a “Shiksa Goddess” (translation, non-Jewish girl). The man, Jamie, tells the story of their meeting, falling in love, getting married, growing apart and finally ending the marriage in a sequence that starts at the beginning and goes to the end. The girl, Cathy, tells the story starting at the end and moving to the beginning of the relationship. The last scene of the show ends very poignantly as Jamie sings “I Could Never Rescue You” where he laments how they grew apart while Cathy sings “Goodbye Until Tomorrow” in which she expresses the delight of her first meeting with Jamie and the hope she has for what it all might mean. This final scene is bit heartbreaking as Jamie moves on and Cathy is left telling the audience how promising it all looked in the beginning. The story is told through song and it moves in opposite directions until the middle where Jamie and Cathy get married and begin their lives together. This is the only time in the show where the two are together at the same time.
This unique show is directed by Corey Rubel. Musical direction is by Andrew Hertz and a small orchestra is on hand. They provide wonderful music.
There are only two characters in this show: Cathy and Jamie. Cathy is played by Ephie Aardema who is fresh off the Broadway stage where she was a part of the show that won this year’s Tony’s Award for Best Original Score, “The Bridges of Madison County” which is also by Jason Robert Brown. You can hear why she was a part of this award winning show as she sings beautifully throughout the show. She plays Cathy in manner that is convincing as she cannot quite understand how the marriage ended. Jamie is played by Spiro Galiatsatos who is a popular favorite with the ReVision Theatre crowd and with good reason why. He is fantastic in this show. His vocal quality and versatility make Jamie a man who has worked hard, become successful, and has to move on with his life. It is said that this show is based on what happened somewhat in real life to its writer and composer, Jason Robert Brown. Through the magic of theater, Spiro looked so similar to Brown at times that one would think the composer was in the room.
The ReVision Theatre is still waiting for their permanent space to be completed. Rather than giving up on the season, they plunged ahead and made the most of a small space that was donated to them for the summer. I must admit I was ready to miss the Carousel House next to the Broadwalk where their shows ran for several years. But the opportunity to experience “The Last 5 Years” in the Theatre Bar on 610 Bangs Street made me quickly appreciative of moving on. The characters move around the room, walk on the bar, sit on the pool table, and even sit in the back of the audience at some points. Every inch of the inside of this historical old building is used well in the show including a fully-stocked and serving bar and seating that gives viewers a unique opportunity to feel a part of the show. You don’t get that chance very often and this is one you will remember being a part of.
There is parking right across the street from the theater which is free on Saturday evenings. The theater is just a short walk from Cookman Avenue where some fine eating establishments are available as well as several right on Bangs Street.
The show will be performed tonight, July 24 – Sunday, July 27, 2014. To get tickets for this show, visit the ReVision Theatre website at www.revisiontheatre.org. Get your tickets and go enjoy a fabulous evening at the theater. And while you’re at it, pick up tickets for their next production, “tick, tick, Boom” which begins August 8 because you just know if the ReVision Theatre is doing it, it will be worth going to see.