Hudson Mainstage Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90038
Director Kristen Boule brings her own unique, quite stylish spin to the acclaimed musical, The Last Five Years, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, now in its run at the Hudson Theatre Guild, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles’ historic theatre row. Tragedy occurs when expectations and reality collide in this musical romantic comedy about a relationship from two different perspectives. Cathy (Kate Bowman) as a woman moving backward from her breakup, while her husband Jamie (Juan Lozano) moves forward from their very first meeting. The piece is an emotional and vocal showcase for these two talented, expressive artists. The songs were indicative of the old Yiddish theatre productions, particularly the number sung by Lozano, about Shmuel in the Shtetl, reminiscent of Tevye of Fiddler, yet intertwined with very modern themes of life and love. Bowman exquisitely portrays Jamie, the modern woman in search of both love and career, Jamie’s fantasy ‘shiksa goddess.’ She is encumbered by her own fantasies and delusions, aspiring for a successful career as an actress in NYC, a goal as daunting as climbing Mt. Everest; yet deep within would be perfectly content with a stable, solid relationship, as she belts, “I’m so happy when you come home to me.” It’s a homespun Lerner and Loewe broadway style romantic musical, featuring Jason Robert Brown’s profound songs about the common man facing life’s everyday struggles. Shades of “The Most Happy Fella” shine through the production.
The set is somewhat bare and stark, yet works for the show’s purposes. At one point Jamie is featured in a vignette, talking on a pay phone, virtually obsolete in today’s world of cellular technology; a symbolic walk back in time to simpler days. K. Boule Pictures is a new theatre group and production company devoted to the artistic, creative rejuvenation and exposure of great and original works. The show is unique, in its silhouette dancing figures, behind the actual scene taking place. This technique was very effective, in highlighting and mirroring what was taking place onstage. It was mesmerizing, and almost hard to believe that there were two sets of actors/dancers – a truly surreal touch, and quite masterful.
The Last Five Years is a story of romantic spirit and beautiful tenderness- a barebones, yet deeply touching musical about two kids trying to find love and belonging, yet beset by the knowledge of their own weaknesses and histories.
Through October 20th Thurs Fri. Sat 8PM
Hudson Theatre Guild 6539 Santa Monica Blvd