B Street Theatre/Brian Kameoka
The B Street Theatre's intimate musical offers quite a contrast with the big touring shows that come to Sacramento on the Broadway Series.
The Last Five Years continues at the B Street Theatre through September 10, 2006.
Professional productions of musicals generally come in only one size in Sacramento – extra large. It’s uncommon to see a musical done in a small 100-seat theater, with professional singers, and without microphones.
But that’s what the B Street Theatre is doing with their show “The Last Five Years,” which could described as a chamber musical, with a cast of two. It’s a well-crafted piece, which picked up awards for music and lyrics in New York. It describes the arc of a relationship, from the giddy feelings following the first meeting, through to the breakup at the end.
We’re not giving anything away when we disclose that there’s a breakup – actually, the breakup is the first thing you’ll see. Playwright Jason Robert Brown unfolds this story on two tracks – the man tells it from beginning to end, but the woman starts with the parting, and works back to the beginning.
This is likely to be a popular show, the performers are appealing, the four piece band is sweet, and the songs are catchy, with a steady undercurrent of humor in the lyrics that helps everything along.