The Lower Ossington Theatre, also known as LOT, is becoming a mainstay in the Toronto local theatre scene. They are mostly known for recurring productions of several popular musicals: Avenue Q plays there a few times a year, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rocky Horror, Spamalot, and Cabaret have all returned more than once. For 2016, they’ve produced a new show: The Last 5 Years.
While The Last 5 Years may not be as well known as the others mentioned, it was successful enough Off-Broadway to have a movie version made with Anna Kendrick. The stars of LOT’s version, Victoria Scully as Catherine and David Light as Jamie, are not as famous, yet they are two very talented singers. And singing is all they do in this musical about the deterioration of a relationship.
Before you go, be prepared. This is not a traditional musical. The cast is only the two stars playing Catherine and Jamie, and they don’t speak. The entire musical is sung and most of the time, except for one scene in the middle, the actors are not singing to each other. Catherine is telling the story backwards from the end of their relationship, while Jamie is starting from the beginning after the two first met. It is a challenge sometimes to follow it; it’s not uplifting, either. Thankfully, the performers have great voices and keep your attention.
The LOT always puts on unique productions, utilizing the small spaces they have to good effect. In this case, the stage is a long strip in the centre of the theatre and audiences sit on either side. The sightlines are very good for this general admission show.