Review: The Last Five Years

“It’s OK, I’m a close-talker, too.”

“It’s OK, I’m a close-talker, too.”

Photo courtesy of Green Valley Theatre Company

The Last Five Years; 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday; $18. Green Valley Theatre Company, 3825 V Street; (916) 736-2664; Through March 12.
Rated 4.0

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, at Green Valley Theatre Company is a falling in and out of love story.

Cathy (Jennifer Morrison), an aspiring actress, and aspiring writer Jamie (Kevin Caravalho, who also directed the show) switch back and forth. Cathy starts at the end of the relationship and works backward to the beginning; Jamie starts at the beginning and works forward to the painful ending. The two meet in the middle, at their wedding.

The play was initially designed for each character to be on stage alone to sing, but wanting to make it more fluid and meatier, Caravalho keeps both on stage most of the time.

The end result makes the story a bit fuller.

Morrison is a marvel, a “belter” of the first order. She begins with the haunting “Still Hurting,” which has the ability to drag the audience into the song to feel her pain.

Caravalho, starting as a young man in love, brings delight and magic to the role as he gleefully talks about his “Shiksa Goddess.”

His mood darkens as the relationship begins to sour.

The music is further aided by the richness of a five-piece orchestra, which includes two cellos (and one cellist, Eimi Taormina, also an accomplished actress, stepping into the story briefly), and adds a depth that a single piano would not give.