As we reach a year without live theatre many of us are crying out for any form of theatre to return. Well look no further than Out of the Box Theatrics’ production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. The show follows two twenty-somethings throughout their relationship in New York, on two different timelines and trajectories. Jamie’s, a talented writing protégé, chronologically, while Cathy’s, a struggling actress, begins at the end of their relationship; they meet once together in the middle at their wedding in Central Park. Staring Nasia Thomas (Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations) and Nicholas Edwards (Frozen).
Out of the Box Theatrics’ Off-Broadway productions have consistently made a name for themselves for being able to scale down a production to the core of the story and this time is no exception. Using a New York apartment as a site-specific immersive experience for Cathy and Jamie’s story is not only visually impressive but also amplifies the confining nature of their relationship. It is difficult to imagine that this production would be able to have the same level of intimacy with an audience on site but this use of location otherwise inaccessible is raising the game for virtual productions.
Nasia Thomas and Nicholas Edwards are a breath of fresh air as Cathy and Jamie. Their chemistry oozes from the screen and is a joy to watch. Thomas’ heartbreaking performance of “Still Hurting” is a stand out moment from the show and not to be missed.
Brown’s score is beautifully brought to life by an orchestra of six who are also placed with-in the apartment. This detail reiterates to the audience that this is live theatre and not a movie.
For anyone looking to experience theatre again this is a must see.
The Last Five Years streams through March 28, 2021. For tickets and more information, visit: https://www.ootbtheatrics.com/l5y