"[Jason Robert Brown] turns a modest, 80-minute, two-character musical into a richly satisfying emotional journey."
The Last Five Years tells the story of Cathy and Jamie, two lovers in their twenties, at the beginning of their careers. Cathy’s dream is to become a successful actress, while Jamie is seeing his chance at becoming the next big hit as a writer. They are madly in love with each other, but their drive to succeed in their chosen professions as well as an unhealthy mix of hubris, lust and insecurity challenge their relationship. The composer Jason Robert Brown wrote the musical love story from the two opposite ends of the timeline: Cathy starts at the end and Jamie at the beginning of the relationship. The cast and creative team consists of artists working in theaters all over Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Luxemburg.
[The Last Five Years erzählt die Geschichte von Cathy und Jamie, ein Paar in seinen Zwanzigern, zu Beginn ihrer Karrieren. Cathys Traum ist es, eine erfolgreiche Schauspielerin zu werden, während Jamie seine Chance sieht, als Bestseller-Schriftsteller seinen Durchbruch zu haben. Sie sind unsterblich ineinander verliebt, aber ihr Ehrgeiz, in ihren gewählten Berufen erfolgreich zu sein, sowie eine ungesunde Mischung aus Überheblichkeit, Lust und Unsicherheit stellen ihre Beziehung auf die Probe. Der Komponist Jason Robert Brown schrieb die musikalische Liebesgeschichte mit zwei chronologisch gegensätzlichen Erzählsträngen: Cathys Erzählung beginnt am Ende und Jamies am Anfang der Beziehung. Die Besetzung und das Kreativteam dieser Produktion bestehen aus Künstler3innen, die in Theatern in ganz Österreich, Deutschland, der Schweiz und Luxemburg arbeiten.]
Cathy and Jamie's relationship has lasted five years. As the story begins, Cathy is at the end of the relationship while Jamie is at the beginning. With inter-cutting scenes, we watch Jamie move forward in time as Cathy moves backward. Cathy has just found a note from her husband, Jamie, signifying the end of their marriage. While she still struggles with their break-up, she feels that he has easily moved on without her. Five years prior, Jamie has just met Cathy. He is soaring from the high of it. He recounts his past relationships, feeling as if he's been waiting for her all of his life. Cathy (moving backwards) is hopeful for the healing of their marriage. Jamie has come to meet her in Ohio, where she has been working as a performer With: Jil Clesse (Cathy) & Michael Souschek (Jamie).Aleksandra Stojiljkovic, violin.Stefan Först, bass.David Volkmer, guitar.Maike Clemens, cello.Ronald Sedlaczek, pianoDirected by Joyce Diedrich. Sam Madwar, stage design.[...] Jamie wakes up beside another woman. He knows that he must go see Cathy in Ohio. Fighting panic and a feeling of inevitability, he admits to the other woman that he has fallen in love with her. Cathy floats on air at the end of her first date with Jamie. They have shared their first kiss, and she wants the magical moment to last forever. She bids him goodbye until tomorrow. At the same time, Jamie ends their relationship. He simply bids her goodbye.
The Last Five Years was written during the two years that Jason Robert Brown toured the country as conductor and musical director of the national tour of another one of his shows, Parade. Distraught with the state of musical theatre style at the time, he wanted to create an emotionally intimate, musically complex piece. Brown's musical style, although it only uses a select number of instruments, draws on a significant number of genres, from classical to rock to klezmer.