Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Fortunetellers might enjoy the promise of a crystal ball to foresee the future.  Mere mortal folks have to learn about life and love the hard way, through experience.  That is the fate of Jamie Wellerstein, an up and coming novelist, and Cathy Hyatt, a struggling actress, who are both waiting for their big 
breaks in career and courtship.

With a poignant and bittersweet perspective, playwright Jason Robert Brown uses his own failed marriage for inspiration in “The Last 5 Years” being given an introspective airing weekends until February 13 at the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin.

Nick D’Angelo is the eager and excited Jamie who has just met the girl of his dreams, one who unfortunately would not be the first or the 305th choice of his traditional Jewish mother.  His loving lament to his “Shiksa Goddess” is uniquely celebratory. He is looking expectantly forward, from new love’s first blush, starting in year one when they first meet in New York City. In the final moments, in year five, he is swimming in a lake of defeat and pens an unhappy note of farewell.

Kaite Corda is the older but wiser Cathy who has been struggling with balancing marriage and an acting career and finding little success with either.  From the perspective of time, she travels back from the final steps to the first, from year five to year one, following all the broken pieces and missteps that led them to turn their joyous hellos to tearful goodbyes.

“The Last 5 Years” is almost entirely sung, with humorous lyrics about a tailor in “The Schmuel Song” which Jamie presents as a Christmas gift to Cathy;  Cathy’s recitation about former boy friends in “I Can Do Better Than That” as she takes Jamie to meet her parents; when Jamie’s career takes a giant leap in “Moving Too Fast”; and Cathy experiences the utter joy of meeting Jamie for their first date in “Goodbye Until Tomorrow.”

Kaite Corda and Nick D’Angelo do a lovely job of telling about their courtship, bittersweet though it may be, with Kris McMurray directing them, as the perfect yenta/matchmaker.

For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Bring goodies to share at your table or plan to buy desserts and drinks at the concession stand.

Watch how Jamie and Cathy leap into and slide out of love, as he loses his muse and she disengages from her hero.

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