By Dawn Cranfield
Looking for an Alternative to the Casinos in Reno this Weekend? Try “The Last 5 Years” at Reno’s Newest Theatre Company, Good Luck Macbeth
Reno’s newest theatre company, in the trendy up and coming MidTown area, Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company, is a unique and fun alternative to a night of gambling and drinking in the biggest little city. The cool boutique style theatre has an intimate 42 seats and presents a wide variety of plays ranging from drama, classics, comedies, and musicals.
They are currently running “The Last 5 Years”, Jason Robert Brown’s 2001 hit musical about the life-cycle of a couple’s relationship told in an unusual manner. The two-character story is a reflection of love found, desired, and eventually lost.
It opens with her point of view seeing the end of her marriage and working backwards five years; she is lost, depressed, and left to wonder what happened. Conversely, he is shown to be enthusiastic about being on the precipice of his relationship with her, and working towards his new relationship.
As the play moves forward, the only time they actually interact with one another is during the wedding scene when they marry and dance together on stage.
With any work of art, it is a reflection of life; there is laughter, sadness, melancholy, and times of deep contemplation about past relationships and how to avoid those same pitfalls in future ones.
The obvious award-winning work of Brown aside (he won an After Dark Award for Outstanding Music & Lyrics in 2000-01), the Good Luck Macbeth cast and crew did an outstanding job with “The Last 5 Years”.
Melissa Taylor (Cathy) sang her heart out and made you feel the pain of everything she was going through with her relationship with Jamie. Taylor made the audience understand what it was like to be a woman in love with a man who she felt she would do anything for, but felt as if she was in a one-sided relationship. She was every woman I have ever met in a relationship; in fact, sometimes she was me; except she could sing incredibly well.
Jamie was played by Evan Buckley Harris, as soon as he began to sing you knew he was meant to be on stage; you kind of had to hate him because Taylor’s song was right before his and she made it so believable but you could not help but fall in love with his voice and the twinkle in his eye. However, as the play continued, you could not help but get caught up in the story of both of the characters and become softened to them, realizing it takes two. Harris made you like Jamie by the end, almost feeling sorry for him because it had ended. Almost.
The minimalism of the set, multi-colored cubes that flashed different colored lights depending on the tone of what was happening added to the brilliance of the lyrics and allowed the audience to focus on the play. The live musical score was an added touch of genius and increased the overall enjoyment of the production. Each word of the actor’s voice was emphasized by a live note; it was an incredible experience for such a small theatre.
The production crew did an incredible job, and I would be remiss not to mention them: Amanda Alvey, director; Diane Strand, assistant director; Tala Munsterman, stage manager; Chad Sweet, set designer; Kent Vizina, lighting designs; and Bill Weiser, musical director.
Last night was Pay What You Can night, a one-night donation only evening celebrating the accessibility of the arts, so tickets were based on a donation. Typically, tickets are $17 each if you purchase them early and $20 at the door, students receive a discount. There is a Happy Hour Theatre Club one night where you receive a bottle of wine or champagne and tickets are $30. So, if you are looking for an alternative for something to do besides the movies or gambling, check out Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company.