Settled into the worn out seats in the leafy, fairy-lit courtyard of the Butterfly Club, Sophie
Weiss and Drew Collet reflected on the beginning of their show The Last Five Beers: Revamped.
Having both auditioned and been turned down from Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years,
and the rights for the show being so expensive, they decided the best avenue to take would be
to perform a self-written cabaret. The duo began to listen to a lot of Scott Allan’s music, a New
York singer/songwriter, and the show began to take on a life of its own. The show begins with
an explanation of Weiss and Collet’s desire to perform in The Last Five Years, and then goes on to tell the story of how they were once a couple who are now meeting for a post-break-up drink. From there, awkwardness and 80s pop tunes run rampant.
When asked about whether there was any truth to the romantic plot of the show (Weiss and Collet play themselves), Collet is at first evasive and then with a cheeky grin admits that he and Weiss have always been just friends. They met doing a Devanesan Productions show. Weiss started her journey in theatre at Monash University studying performing arts, where she had the opportunity to work closely with Peter Fitzpatrick (of Stella Entertainment fame) and developed a love for musical theatre. Dance being her weakest point, Weiss went on to study full-time dance and give the audition circuit a go, “working really hard to crack the big ones!” she said. Her real passion for music started earlier with piano-playing. Weiss is now a piano and singing teacher and runs her own kids’ parties business.
Collet studied jazz improvisation at Box Hill TAFE before going on to complete one year of the Foundation Musical Theatre course at the Victorian College of the Arts (Collet was only able
to finish one year of the course, as he has since taken over the family business of mechanical repairs). Being a full time mechanic has enabled Collet and Weiss to add some jokes and quips about his profession into the show. “I enjoy doing these cabarets because you are in control. You do what you want [and] rehearse when you want. I fit it in around my busy life!” he said.
The show revolves around lies, inner desires, and things that are left unsaid between people after a bad breakup. There are flashbacks and secret addictions — things that nearly all audience members will be able to relate to in one way or another. This return season of The Last Five Beers is a revamped edition of the first show that explores the sheer ridiculousness of a post-date catch-up.