The Last Five Years | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Last Five Years

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Jason Robert Brown's song cycle, which details the rise and fall of a relationship, was last performed here less than three months ago by La Costa Theatre Company. Josh Solomon's One Theatre Company staging features a full orchestration (as in Northlight's 2001 debut), and Andrew Weir and Diane Mair deliver ardent performances, his songs recounting their five-year affair from the start, hers chronicling it backward. But the staging is out of balance: an overwhelming six-person orchestra forces the singers to nearly scream, obscuring the lyrics. And because the performers share some of the supposedly solo scenes, the chronology gets confused. A few quiet moments register, but overall these five years feel more like Divorce Court than a rueful musical celebration of love. Through 7/2: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, third-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $25.

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