NY Theater Review:Last 5 Years and Pippin

The Last 5 Years


I really didn’t know what to expect walking in – I knew it had great buzz and it was a romance but didn’t know much about the structure and book. I really enjoyed the show. It is a counter chronological tale of a pair of lovers, and X structures sort of play. The show only has two actors, and in this staging they are both great. Their voices are amazing, we defined her as having a perfect “Disney princess” sort of a voice.
The staging was minimal but very effective, the use of frames was beautiful, my favorite being the water images shown through them.

Don’t expect a happy musical, but definitely go watch it, I’m very glad I did, and have already gone to iTunes to download some of the songs from the recording by Sherri Renee Scott and Norbert Leo Butz, as I think the music was gorgeous. It has some amazing lyrics, as well as the perfect proposal song: The Next Ten Minutes.  Some of my favorite lines:

  • “I will not lose because you can’t win!”
  • “Covered with scars I did nothing to earn, Maybe there’s somewhere a lesson to learn”
  •  “Some people can’t get success with their art, Some people never feel love in their heart, Some people can’t tell the two things apart, But I keep rollin’ on”

If you want to know more about it, here is a great article in this months Playbill on the Author, Jason Robert Brown, who also directed this staging. And in other related news, the movie  has already been announced, with Jeremy Jordan (who I loved in Newsies, but is probably more well known from Smash) and Anna Kendrick.



Pippin is a show that is very familiar to a lot of people, especially those who love musicals. I can consider myself a musical lover who was very unaware of Pippin. Therefore I was exited at the possibility of seeing it on stage, with the added bonus that I think the composer, Stephen Schwartz is fabulous and I would at least love the music. I think I was a little bit torn on the production. I loved some things, and was not so happy on others.

What I loved:

  • It is an extremely enjoyable and high energy and definitely a good night at the theater.
  • The performances are top notch. To highlight:
    • Patina Miller, who I had seen in Sister Act, showcases her voice fabulously as the Leading Player, a sort of narrator throughout the show.
    • Andrea Martin has the showstopper moment of the night, with her song No time at All, not really because of her vocals but because of her fabulous performance and acrobatics.
    • Matthew James Thomas, who plays Pippin, has an amazing voice. When we saw it is was evident that he was having voice issues, and still he hit the notes out of the park.
  • Loved the Manson Trio. They kept the original Fosse choreography and it was great to see!
  • The Circus staging and the acrobatics were top notch. There are some really incredible tricks within the performance

What I didn’t Love:

  • Some of the cast:
    • I actually think Terrence Mann, who I think is fabulous, was underused
    • I didn’t love Charlotte D’Amboise. Again I think she was underused with less than stellar choreography to showcase her talents (which having seen her in Sweet Charity and Chorus Line I know they are much better!)
    • I did not enjoy Rachel Bay Jones as Catherine. I found her performance grating and overall made me less emotionally involved in the second act.
  • The second act has less energy in comparison to the first. The ending falls flat a bit in my book.

Overall worth seeing for yourself, especially with the current cast!

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