THE LAST 5 YEARS by Jason Robert Brown

Dates and Venue 15-17 July @ 8pm | PacificTheatre, Vancouver

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

This musical performance is not the best I’ve ever seen because the whole story line is mediocre:  Girl meets boy. They marry. They are writers.  The man falls for his publicist. They divorce.

As I enter the theatre, the walls and stage floor are dark blackish grey. The stage setting could be more colorful and at least alive. There is nothing but the grey raised platforms. The six musicians are lined up in a row along the stage wall and look very professional in their black attire. .

The music is well chosen and the musicians sound professional.   There is Taylor Caswell - base, Matt MacArthur – guitar, music director Dave Rosborough - keyboard, Joyce Ma - violinist (with incredible flowing black hair), and finally, Noah James- cellist. There was just a slight reverberation from the microphone on opening night, but the music, timing and composition were very good.

The two performers, Joshua McFaul,  and Shalyn McFaul, know their parts well. Their performance would have been better if they had a well written story to tell – something that they could sink their wonderful voices and acting into. The costumes, however, of both performers could use a bit of ironing…after all, presentation is everything in theatre.

Joshua has exemplary singing talent and reaches high notes with ease. He has talent and conveys humor very well. The audience definitely responded to his impersonation of the talking mirror. I found him a stronger, smoother performer than Shalyn.

As I look around the theatre, there are two men in the audience nodding off.  This is not a good sign. The reason may have been the stuffiness and heat in the theatre. I found it a tad uncomfortable.

Would I recommend this musical? No! Would I recommend the musicians, as well as Joshua and Shalyn? Absolutely!

© 2010 Karen Fitzgibbon