BWW Reviews: Off-Broadway Cast Recording of THE LAST FIVE YEARS Is Powerful, Emotional, and Moving
Jason Robert Brown's musical THE LAST FIVE YEARS boasts a small cast of two, but tells a tale to remember. With a movie in the works, the show is a force to be reckoned with. The show's 2013 Off-Broadway production at Second Stage Theatre starring Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor is no different. Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records released the Off-Broadway production's recording today, and it is everything every THE LAST FIVE YEARS fan would want it to be. Wolfe and Kantor shine in the creative and innovative show, owning each and every one of the shows 14 catchy tracks.
The modern tracks tell the classic story of a divorce. The show follows Cathy and Jamie's relationship, with hopeful Jamie telling the story from the beginning of their relationship and regretful Cathy from the end. Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz, the show's original cast, set the bar high, but Wolfe and Kantor rose to the occasion. The dynamic duo tell the story through song, evoking every emotion with every track. The duo's voices soar through the show's compelling score.
There is no boring moment as every track on the record serves a purpose. Every song either demands you to sing along and tap your feet or demands you to feel and contemplate. The tunes are quirky and brilliantly constructed, and the conversational tone makes the score entertaining to listen to as you get lost in the show's distinctive sound. Betsy Wolfe is adorable. She also tugs at your heartstrings. Kantor is her perfect match, as his stunning voice fits perfectly alongside hers. He captures Jamie's hopeful nature, commanding you to fall in love with him.
"I Can Do Better Than That" is cute and relatable as Wolfe encapsulates Cathy's innocent yet adventurous attitude. The jazzy and soulful "Moving Too Fast" is spunky and easily the most addictive tune off of the album, and you can't help but sing along. "Nobody Needs To Know" is poignant, and "The Schmuel Song" is quirky. Every song tells the story of a different moment in the pair's life, each serving it's own purpose.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS is modern musical theatre at its finest. The music is impeccable, and the story like no other. Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor carry the show effortlessly. Their musical chemistry is undeniable. THE LAST FIVE YEARS (2013 Off-Broadway Cast Recording) is well worth the listen. Be prepared to get lost in Jason Robert Brown's impressive musical narrative.