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The Last 5 Years

B-

…or Merrily We Pity My Bitter Ex-Wife. Wunderkind composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown (Parade) brings his forgettably proficient song stylings to the marital woes of wunderkind novelist Jamie (Norbert Leo Butz) and blunderkind actress Cathy (Sherie Rene Scott). Brown seems to have gleaned his nuptial know-how from Billy Joel lyrics, but he offers up a pretty slick storytelling gimmick: Jamie the Talented lives the relationship in conventional linear time, while Cathy the Loser (a mere object of her hubby’s — and Mr. Brown’s — condescension) lives it in reverse. The recently divorced composer isn’t claiming Last is autobiographical; yet, during the curtain call, the set opens dramatically to reveal…Brown himself, at the piano. It brings to mind Cathy’s lament: ”You, you, nothing but you!/Miles and piles of you!” Ew.

The Last 5 Years
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