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BWW Review: THE LAST FIVE YEARS at Gettysburg Community Theatre

Experience the production online or in person through April 24.

BWW Review: THE LAST FIVE YEARS at Gettysburg Community Theatre

The Last Five Years, written by Jason Robert Brown, features a cast of two. The show premiered in Chicago in 2001 and made its way Off-Broadway in 2002. The story tells the tale of a novelist, Jamie Wellerstein, and an actress, Cathy Hiatt, and their relationship. This musical is told from Jamie's perspective in chronological order, while it is told from Cathy's point of view in reverse order, and they only interact directly with one another once during the show. This unique use of timelines highlights the ways in which people in relationships can see the same thing from two very different perspectives. Because of the small cast and lack of physical interaction between the characters, The Last Five Years is a great choice for theatres looking to produce a musical during these difficult times of social distancing. Gettysburg Community Theatre is bringing The Last Five Years to the stage for two weekends.

Gettysburg Community Theatre's production, directed by Chad-Alan Carr, features Marilyn Lopes as Cathy and Drew Becker as Jamie. The music in this show is not easy-it is filled with incidentals, runs, and key changes. Lopes and Becker, under the musical direction of Carrie Conklin, handle it beautifully. The emotional range displayed by the actors is engaging. Even through a computer screen, they are able to convey the excitement and joy of new love, the hope of starting a life together, the negotiations and difficulties of navigating through that life together, and the anger and sadness of seeing something end.

The show is filled with amazing music and beautiful moments. Lopes particularly shines in "I'm a Part of That" where she demonstrates excellent storytelling through facial expressions, movement, and vocal tone. It is a gorgeous, introspective song that tugs at the heartstrings. While the computer speakers certainly don't allow one to experience the music the same way as it would be experienced in person, "Climbing Uphill/Audition Sequence is one of the best pieces for Lopes, showcasing her vocal ability. The song in which Cathy's and Jamie's timelines cross, "The Next Ten Minutes" is one of the most tender and heartfelt moments of the show and features beautiful harmonies between Lopes and Becker.

Becker is a wonderful Jamie. His vocals are effortless, with quite a range. "Moving Too Fast" demonstrates his vocal agility as well as his energy and intensity-his performance of that song grabs the audience's attention and draws them in. Becker's acting abilities are highlighted particularly well in "The Schmuel Song" and "Nobody Needs to Know" where he demonstrates his talent for telling a story through song and for evoking a range of emotions as he sings. The final piece-"Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You, which features both characters-is simply beautiful and heart-wrenching.

Overall, this show deserves a round of applause for the actors and the production team. Gettysburg Community Theatre presents The Last Five Years April 16-24. There are limited tickets available for the live production, but the show is also being streamed online, so everyone has the opportunity to see it. Don't miss out on your chance to see the first musical of Gettysburg Community Theatre's post-shutdown season. Visit

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From This Author Andrea Stephenson