Monday, September 08, 2008

The Last Five Years

I am very excited to say that I will be playing Jamie in The Last Five Years at the Players Guild Theatre in Canton, OH from September 19th to the 28th.

I can honestly say that this role was the highest on my list of wanna-plays. This is a show that has a very close place to my heart. Jamie is a character who, from his good to his bad, I connect with very strongly.

The show is a 2 person musical. It chronicles the relationship of Jamie and Cathy from their first date, to their wedding, and finally to their divorce. The twist is that from scene to scene, Jamie goes forward in time while Cathy goes backward, and the only time we really get to see them in a scene together is at their wedding were they share a beautiful duet.

The Last Five Years is probably not for everyone. Some may call it angsty and long winded. I would suggest that it is a step-by-step analysis of how this particular sort of relationship can fail. It's a relationship where the woman needs the man to define her, and the man needs the woman to worship him, then go away. I think it strikes an especially resounding chord for people who are in the arts and tend to have these seemingly conflicting, but somehow related issues of self-worth and ego. It's no surprise then that few people outside of the musical theatre world have heard of The Last Five Years, while it remains a favorite among angsty and egotistic actors (as I would include myself in this category). The characters are real, flawed, delightful, and stubborn.

And then there is the music.

Jason Robert Brown writes complicated, intentional, haunting music, and The Last Five Years is no exception. The lyrics dance from insightful, to hilarious, to downright heartbreaking at the turn of a verse. I have listened to this music for 4 years and still don't hesitate to put it on my iPod and give it another spin, while I have all but retired most of my albums I've bought just this past year. The orchestra is made up of only strings and a piano. It makes for a unique sound that can be slow and sweet or surprisingly slamming, and takes learned hands to pull it off right which we are lucky to have in the piano masterings of Rob Kovacs. The music is another way this show connects with more than just theatre-geeks. Fans of indie-pop, classical, and piano-rock like Ben Folds fall in love with this music.

So here's my wrap up. If you know me, I'm asking that you come see this show. It has a lot of messages in it that I want to be a part of giving to you through this piece of art. I have never endorsed a show I've been in that way. I might say it's good, come see it if you like. But, in this case, I'm saying that if you want to see a part of me, come see this show. And with the talent I have beside me (Courtney Vignos and Tiffany Stoker) it's going to knock your freaking socks off.

For tickets, contact the Players Guild Theatre:
(330) 453-7617 or
Click Here to order online

For more info on the show, here are a few links:
Wikipedia - The Last Five Years
Jason Robert Brown