When asked which shows I have reviewed are my absolute personal favorites I always name “The Secret Garden” and what I consider the best show you have never seen, The Last Five Years.
Well, after a wait of more than the last six years for a revival, Adam Sippola and Carolyn LePine are finally back with a bigger and better production of Jason Robert Brown’s musical, which opened January 28th at the Underground.
Brown’s songs are a captivating mix of those with clever lyrics and audacious rhymes, with others offer emotional intensity running the spectrum from unbridled joy to heart-rending anguish.
Sippola and LePine’s voices are deeper in tone now and if both are north of the upper age range of their characters the trade-off is an incredible richness and depth to their interpretation of these lyrics, and their masterful use of dynamics. This is what happens when songs percolate for years.
My favorite new moment from this production comes when Cathy sings of what she wants in “The Next Ten Minutes,” and the waves of emotion ripple over Jamie’s face in a silent paean of love.
Music director Patrick Colvin returns as well, this time with the appropriate ensemble, anchored by two cellos adding emotional resonance to every song.
IF YOU WANT TO GO
What: The Last Five Years
Where: The Underground (506 W. Michigan St., lower level of the Depot across from the train museum)
When: January 29-February 6 | Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm
Tickets: Online here, call 218.733.7555, or stop by the box office in person
Price: Adults – $18 | Students – $15
This review originally appeared on duluthnewstribune.com on January 28, 2016 and was written by Lawrence Bernabo.