Jason Robert Brown, Joshua Henry and Cynthia Erivo Chat THE LAST FIVE YEARS, Hope for 'Bigger' Life After Benefit
As previously announced, Tony Award-Winner Cynthia Erivo and Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry will star in a special one-night-only benefit concert version of Jason Robert Brown's seminal musical, The Last Five Years, next Monday, September 12th, with the composer himself leading the orchestra.
In an interview with EW, Brown discussed the buzz surrounding this being the first major staging of the musical with two black actors.
"Not changing the story is part of the point, which is to say that great actors will have a valid take on material. It's not that I'm even asking anyone to believe that Joshua Henry is a nice Jewish boy from Rockland County but what Joshua can bring to that part is immensely substantial, and that's what my job is as a director -- to make sure he brings all of his truth to that role without compromising the writing," Brown told EW. "If they weren't the most talented actors in the world, then you'd be like oh, it's gimmicky. But in this case it's not gimmicky, because who doesn't want to see these actors take on this material?"
"I think that it's great that Jason is doing this with Cynthia and I, so I think it's great that two actors of color get to do to this," Henry commented. "It's a testament to the material, and that it can live through many different people's eyes and voices but I want to applaud Jason Robert Brown for making it happen."
Talking about her character, Erivo said: "I think the wonderful thing about playing Cathy is, she's a real woman who is going through something and I like the idea of being able to put that in real life, to show that woman can be any woman, every woman, anywhere."
Henry mentioned that he hopes this staging will continue in some way after the benefit. "I hope we get to do it again in a bigger way," he told EW. "I think that would be an amazing thing."
We do, too! Broadway, anyone?
Produced by SubCulture and Jason Robert Brown, the evening will take place at Town Hall (123 West 43rd St), and 100% of the proceeds will benefit The Brady Center, the national organization determined to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025.
Tickets for the concert begin at $50, and will go on sale at 10:00AM EST on Wednesday, August 18. To purchase tickets, and for more information on the event, visit www.TheTownHall.org, or call (212)840-2824.
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