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Louis Pardo and Ashley Fox Linton Lead Rubicon Theatre's THE LAST FIVE YEARS, Opening Tonight

Rubicon Theatre Company of Ventura has just announced the director and cast for the company's mainstage production of The Last Five Years, Jason Robert Brown's emotionally powerful, intimate pop musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in love and try to hold on to each other when life leads them in opposite directions.

Rubicon's production will be helmed by Rubicon Resident Artist Stephanie A. Coltrin, who won an Ovation Award for Miss Saigon in L.A. The role of up-and-coming novelist Jamie Wellerstein will be played by Louis Pardo, whose credits include the National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley and work with South Coast Rep, San Diego Rep, and Musical Theatre Guild. Ashley Fox Linton stars opposite Pardo as Cathy Hiatt, an aspiring young actress. Fox Linton's credits include Glinda in the Broadway National Tour of Wicked and Cosette in Les Miserables.

The Last Five Years takes audiences on a journey from elation to heartbreak and from heartbreak to elation. Jamie's story is told chronologically; while Cathy's is told in reverse order. The couple's stories intersect on their wedding day. Says Coltrin, "I have been longing to direct a production of this musical since I first heard the original cast CD. The score is thrilling, and with its myriad of contemporary styles, it speaks to both older and younger audiences."

"The story itself is also something we connect to at almost any age," continues Coltrin. "Most of us recall the sense of exhilaration we felt in the moment we thought we were meeting 'the one.' But we also know that exhilaration can shift profoundly and permanently when one person's life starts moving faster than the other. "Jason's ingenious construct allows us to experience the highs and lows of crucial points of the marriage so that we eventually understand what the characters themselves don't realize - that these two people were never in the same place to begin with."

The Last Five Years is part of Rubicon Theatre Company's 17th mainstage season, entitled "The Search..." The production opens tonight, January 24 at the company's home at 1006 E. Main in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District, with low-priced previews beginning January 21. For tickets and information, call (805) 667-2900 or go to www.rubicontheatre.org.

History of the Production The Last Five Years premiered at Northlight Theatre outside Chicago in 2001 and was directed by Daisy Prince, starring Norbert Leo Butz and Lauren Kennedy. The production transferred Off-Broadway to the Minetta Lane Theatre in 2002 with Sherie Rene Scott stepping in for Kennedy (who had previously committed to South Pacific in London). The musical received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics, and was nominated for five additional Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. The Last Five Years was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. The show was revived last year Off-Broadway for a limited run at Second Stage with Brown himself directing Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe. The film of The Last Five Years, starring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, is scheduled for a Valentine's Day release in movie theatres.

Rubicon's Long Association with Jason Robert Brown The Last Five Years continues Rubicon's long association with Jason Robert Brown, who was first introduced to the company by Michael Jackowitz, who later became Rubicon's Director of New Works. In 2005, Brown came to rehearsals and helped shape what became a wildly popular environmental production of his Songs for a New World. For that production (directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera), the theatre seats were removed and the entire space was transformed into a funky coffeehouse set (created by Tony Rizzi). Then, in 2008, Brown created musical arrangements for the World Premiere of John Bucchino's It's Only Life at Rubicon, which was directed by Brown's frequent collaborator Daisy Prince. Additionally, Brown has performed in two Rubicon special events: a concert of his music at the theatre for which Brown created a new choral arrangement of his "Hear My Song" which was performed by a large group of children from Rubicon's outreach programs; and a Broadway cabaret fundraiser devoted to Brown's works at The Tower Club in which Brown performed with guests Jenn Collela and Darcie Roberts. Brown is a three-time Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist. His first was for Parade; his second and third for music and orchestrations for Bridges of Madison County. His other works for the theatre are 13 (now in development as a film) and Honeymoon in Vegas, currently on Broadway. 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." Brown 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 U.S. and the U.K.

More About the Director and Cast The Last Five Years is Stephanie A. Coltrin's first mainstage production for Rubicon, where she previously directed You are Here for the Plays-in-Progress festival and The Santaland Diaries in a holiday cabaret setting starring Brian MacDonald. Coltrin is an Ovation award-winning producer, having won for Miss Saigon at Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities (which she also directed, and for which she received a Best Director nomination). Other favorite directing credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Garland Award nomination); Seussical (Broadway World Award for Best Director); Art; Jesus Christ Superstar (Stage Scene LA Award for Best Director); Oklahoma, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Godspell, She Loves Me (Stage Scene LA Award, Director of the Year); Private Lives; Steel Magnolias; Bach at Leipzig; Stones in His Pockets, King Lear, Moonlight and Magnolias; and others. Stephanie was Artistic Director of both CLOSBC and the Hermosa Beach Playhouse, and is Associate Festival Director for Shakespeare by the Sea.

Louis Pardo was most recently seen in Hair at the Hollywood Bowl in the role of Flow (the hippie that was always hanging out with the cooler, more famous hippies). Other credits include A-Rab in West Side Story for San Francisco Symphony; Les Miserables for McCoy/Rigby Entertainment; Cousin Kevin in The Who's Tommy at San Diego Rep; The Light in the Piazza at South Coast Rep; Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q for 3-D Theatricals; Jerry in The Full Monty for Candlelight Pavilion; Freddie in Chess for Musical Theater Guild; the title role in Pippin for Diversionary Theater; and the National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley for Troika Entertainment.

Ashley Fox Linton appeared in the Broadway National Tours of Wicked and Les Miserables. Her Off-Broadway and regional credits include Sunset Boulevard, Little Me and Call Me Madam at Musical Theatre West; Girl Crazy, Wonderful Town, Death Takes a Holiday and City of Angels for Musical Theatre Guild; Most Ridiculous Thing You Ever Hoid at Urban Stages; Sweeney Todd at Cygnet Theatre; Going Through a Stage at The Triad; How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at The Old Globe; Baby at North Coast Rep; Call Me Madam at Goodspeed; and Evita at the Helen Hayes. Fox Linton has participated in workshops and readings for La Jolla Playhouse, York Theatre Co. and NAMT. She is a BFA graduate of Boston Conservatory, and has been a soloist with the Boston Pops. She has also trained with the Groundlings. Her debut solo album "First Real Love," is available through King Kozmo Records. www.ashleyfoxlinton.com

Schedule, Special Performances and Ticket Info Low-priced previews of The Last Five Years begin on Wednesday, January 21 at 7 p.m., continuing Thursday, January 22 at 8 p.m. and Friday, January 23 at 8 p.m. Opening night is Saturday, January 24 at 7 p.m. and runs through Sunday, February 15. Regular performances are Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Talkbacks with the actors are scheduled after Wednesday 7 p.m. performances on January 28, February 4 and February 11.

Regular ticket prices range from $35 to $64. Tickets for students are $20, and student rush tickets are available for $15. Discounts are available for groups of 12 or more. The cost for the January 24 opening night performance is $95 per person. Opening night parties for the 2014-2015 Season will take place at the theatre and are themed to each show. For the opening of The Last Five Years, suggested attire is "casual chic". The ticket price includes pre-show champagne, tickets, and a post-show party with the actors, their guests and VIPs.

Tickets for The Last Five Years may be purchased in person through the Rubicon Theatre Company Box Office at the corner of Main and Laurel in Ventura (Laurel entrance and downstairs). To charge by phone, call 805.667.2900 or visit Rubicon online at www.rubicontheatre.org.



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