The Last Five Years 

La Costa Theatre Company's remarkably rich 90-minute revival of Jason Robert Brown's dramatic song cycle (which premiered five years ago at Northlight) honors the innate theatricality of its 15 supple songs. Chronicling the ill-fated marriage of promising novelist Jamie and driven actress Cathy, his songs run forward from their first date to the final breakup while hers take us backward. Only in the middle do their stories converge, in the ballad "The Next Ten Minutes." Brown packs wisdom into his deceptively modest autopsy of romantic failure, and under Jeremy Henry's warm direction, Erika Brett Holleb and Jonathan Hymen are superb, giving conviction to every unshared sacrifice, mixed message, unconditional hope, and bittersweet revelation. Through 3/19: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM, Apollo Theater, studio, 2540 N. Lincoln, 773-935-6100, $25. + Then 3/30-4/30: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM, Royal George Theatre Center, 1641 N. Halsted, 312-988-9000, $25.

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