The Last Five Years premiered in Chicago, was produced off-Broadway and has enjoyed numerous productions internationally. The show is an intimate, two-person musical that tells the compelling story of Jamie, a nice Jewish boy, and Cathy, a good Irish Catholic girl, who fall in love, get married, and fall apart over the course of five years. Jamie is an emerging novelist enjoying his first taste of success, while Cathy is a struggling actress having trouble hitting it big, making their musical duets both wildly funny and crushingly sad.
Brown has employed an unusual temporal shift in the piece, with Cathy starting at the end of the marriage and working her way back, while Jamie begins on their first date and works his way forward. Only once do Jamie and Cathy sing together, at their wedding in the middle of the play. This underscores cause and effect, as two people whose powerful love for one another cannot overcome their cultural differences and divergent dreams. Musically, Brown’s score navigates the minefields of love and marriage through soulful, soaring music and lyrics that evoke contemporary pop songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, combined with the theatrical styles of Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein. Traditional Jewish and Irish musical themes are also played against the sounds, pace and complexity of contemporary life in New York City.
Benefit Performance Date: December 15, 2008 8:00pm
Accompanist: John Grecia
Cathy – Sandy Yozviak
Jamie – Chris DiMeo