Stories about love always strikes a chord, and takes anyone to a place all too familiar. "The Last 5 Years" will take you to those same moments while watching Joaquin Valdes and Nikki Gil bring life to one of off-Broadway's most known musicals.
MYX VJ Nikki Gil gives life to Cathy Hyatt, a struggling actress and a hurting wife to Jamie Wellerstein, played by Joaquin Valdes. Their stories begin at opposite sides of a timeline, with an emotional Cathy opening the show post-breakup. Jamie's journey on the other hand begins when he falls in love with Cathy. The characters only meet up mid show in the 90-minute sung through production.
Tears pour as Nikki Gil sings "Still Hurting" at the beginning of "The Last 5 Years"
There are extreme shifts of emotion and energy throughout the entire production because of the unique storytelling but it balances the entire production well. It levels off the mood and will gradually bring you to a dreamy state, like being in love, leading to the only scene they get to interact with one another.
Cathy and Jamie finally meet during "The Next Ten Minutes"
Aside from their love story, the audience can also relate to the characters' struggles to make it in their respective careers. Cathy tries out for different roles as an actress and is having a hard time landing a big one. Jamie on the other hand, begins his successful career as a novelist, surrounded by temptation and blinded by ambition.
Joaquin Valdes is back on stage as novelist Jamie in "The Last 5 Years"
Each scene is built around Jason Robert Brown's music, which has a right combination of Broadway and pop. It also helped the stars bring out something the audience has never heard before – grit and attitude for Nikki and master of dynamics and range for Joaquin.
Some of the songs aren't melodically memorable but it keeps the audience listening because the music are stories in itself. And it is a treasure trove of lyrical gems. Even one line can send tears flowing.
"The Last 5 Years" allowed the two leads to showcase their vocal range. It's difficult to cry and reach high notes during the most emotional parts of the show. But Nikki and Joaquin didn't sacrifice musicality for the intensity of each scene. There is a right amount of balance and control. And since the musical is set at different timelines, the two stars interact with just a beam of light in most of the scenes. It even made some of the scenes even more painful, emphasizing that they aren't there for each other anymore.
9Works Theatrical's 5th anniversary offering is unique from their other musicals they've staged before but it has become a welcome experience for Director Robbie Guevarra and Managing Director Santi Santamaria. Their staging of "The Last 5 Years" is just the beginning of another season of quality musicals that the Filipinos will love.
Anyone who has ever loved someone should watch the show. It will bring back memories of love and loss, but in the end, it will make you want to fall in love over and over again.
Check out more photos from the show HERE
"The Last 5 Years" will run until August 31, 2014 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater at the RCBC Plaza, Makati. For tickets, just call 586-7105, 0917-554-5560, 0935-949-8309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.