“It’s probably the best new musical New York will see all season.”
Lawson Taitte – Dallas Morning News
June 25, 2015:
BOCA RATON, FL: Evening Star Productions will follow their sold out production of The Addams Family with The Last Five Years, Jason Robert Brown’s look at love and marriage from an unusual and innovative ‘his and hers’ perspective. The musical will open on July 17th and run through August 2nd at Sol Theatre in Boca Raton.
The Last Five Years is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two young New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. It premiered at Chicago’s Northlight Theatre in 2001 and debuted Off-Broadway in March 2002. The story explores the relationship between Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, and Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress. The show’s unconventional structure uses a form of storytelling in which Cathy’s story is told in reverse chronological order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage), and Jamie’s is told in chronological order (starting just after the couple have first met). The characters do not directly interact except for a wedding song in the middle of the play, as their timelines intersect.
The production will star Ben Sandomir and Sara Grant, and will be directed by Evening Star’s founder and artistic director, Rosalie Grant.
“My first exposure to The Last Five Years was when a middle-school Sara came to voice lessons wanting to work on “See I’m Smiling” and “Goodbye Until Tomorrow” and then commenced to work her way through the show”, says Grant. Grant’s daughter Sara, who will play Cathy in the production, is currently attending Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts to receive her BFA in Theatre.
“So these characters and songs have been alive in our home for almost a decade,” she continues. “But to witness Ben and Sara connecting instantly at their first music rehearsal was electrifying. Audiences are in for an emotional roller coaster of a ride as these two actors fearlessly bring this story to life … from the laughter of new love to the despair of the doomed relationship.”
“The Last 5 Years is raw yet eloquent,” says Sara Grant. “And by the end of Cathy and Jamie’s story you sit there torn between who to empathize with more. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work on this difficult material, especially with a talent like Ben.”
“Part of the challenge for me will be to disconnect myself from the music during Cathy’s songs,” Sandomir explains. “The play is perfectly designed to put the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions but as actors we have to remain disciplined to pull off this effect. It’s a little intimidating to work on such a small stage,” he continues, “However, I’ve found that nothing removes my pretenses like an audience member only a few feet away! And it’s so exciting to work with Sara. What a powerful voice!”
A live musical trio, consisting of Jason Buelow on piano, Brad Miller on bass, and Lehins Aragon on violin will accompany Grant and Sandomir.
Jason Robert Brown is the three-time Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist of Songs for a New World, Parade, 13, The Bridges of Madison County, and Honeymoon In Vegas. He performs around the world as a soloist and with his band, The Caucasian Rhythm Kings, with whom he recorded his CD Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes. A film of The Last Five Years opened in theaters in February 2015 to critical acclaim, and a film of 13 is currently in development. He has conducted his orchestral suite The Trumpet of the Swan with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and he has taught acting and composition at universities and colleges across the US and the UK.
Evening Star Productions’ The Last Five Years will run from July 17 – August 2 (there will be a preview performance on July 16 at 8 pm) at Sol Theatre in Boca Raton. Tickets are $25 or $10 for students. Group rates are also available. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased at the Sol Theatre box office at 561-447-8829 or on line at www.eveningstarproductions.org. Sol Theatre is located at 3333 North Federal Highway in Boca Raton (33431).
The Last Five Years
Book, Music, and Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
July 16 (preview performance) July 17 – August 2, 2015
Tickets: $25 ($10 for students)
For tickets: 561-447-8829 / www.eveningstarproductions.org
Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7 pm
Sunday at 2 pm
All performances at
3333 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33431
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“…Brown soars, making the conceit imbue every encouraging, optimistic step forward with an anticipation of its mortality…” “None of this would work without a score that is replete with infectious tunes as well as a couple of patter songs that reveal a jaded showbiz humor…”
Robert Hofler – Variety
“So here is a real modern falling in- and-out of love musical, a romance about careers, infused with soft-pop ballads, a faux Jewish folk song for overachievers at Christmas, and an irresistible, tempted-married-man lament with boogie-woogie insinuations. Finally, Jamie is singing “goodbye forever” and Cathy is singing “goodbye until tomorrow” while the music makes commentary on a schmaltzy waltz. Their last five years may have been painful, but they make us feel much better about the future of musical theater.”
Linda Winer – New York Newsday