THE LAST FIVE YEARS
Hofstra University's Alumni Repertory Theatre
By Jason Robert Brown
Featuring Katherine Bartoldus & Jonathan Todd Ross
Musical Direction by Matt Gallagher
Directed by Mark Steven Robinson
Press Photos by Andy Marlin • Rehearsal Photos by Casey Weyand
"It had never occurred to him that three years on
he would be learning new things about her."
~ Jamie Wellerstein, Light Out of Darkness
In the face of the larger-than-life stories that make up the American musical theatre, the intimate, two-character song cycle contained in The Last Five Years holds a unique position; in that it presents real life in a dynamic new way.
With the eloquent, unflinching honesty of Jason Robert Brown's lyrics, set to an eclectic, pulsing score, we see the five-year journey, from first date to eventual breakup, between a rising young writer named Jamie and a struggling musical theatre actress named Cathy. As revealed through a series of deceptively simple, but emotionally charged snapshots, The Last Five Years utilizes a fascinating and risky storytelling device where we see the arc of the relationship moving forward in time (from beginning to end) through Jamie's eyes but backward in time (from end to beginning) through Cathy's - thereby conveying the lives of two peoplea who live at different speeds while consistently endeavoring to connect on a truly profound level.
Even though this is a show about a specific relationship, I'm sure you'll agree that it carries universal truths about our innate need to connect and be loved by another person. At the same time, it illustrates the heartbreaking journey we must navigate to obtain a secure sense of trust, affection and intimacy in our own relationships.
Living with this score during the past few months has provided the thrill of working with a daring, new voice in the contemporary American Theatre, and an experience I will not soon forget.
-- Mark Robinson