THE LAST 5 YEARS Thrills Audiences at the Eagle Theatre

THE LAST 5 YEARS Thrills Audiences at the Eagle Theatre

Eagle Theatre's production of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years has received its share of critical acclaim and standing ovations, with audiences hailing from all over the Delaware Valley and beyond.

What is it about this intimate in-and-out of love story that has patrons flocking to Hammonton, New Jersey? How is this 2002 Drama Desk Award Winner still continuing to form a die-hard following, seventeen years post its original premiere?

Co-stars Jenna Pastuszek and Max Meyers, along with Producing Director Ed Corsi, believe the musical has become a phenomenon due to its universal themes.

Best known for its catchy melodies, it is the unconventional story structure that makes The Last 5 Years most unique and alluring. Brown creates a world in which Jamie tells his side of the tale in chronological order, while Cathy relives the relationship backwards. Their stories intersect only once, in the middle, on their wedding day.

Eagle Theatre's Producing Director Ed Corsi states "The Last 5 Years serves as a reminder; savor the love you have in your life."

The musical debuted in Chicago in 2001 at the Northlight Theater in Skokie, Ill, staring Norbert Leo Butz and Lauren Kennedy. In 2002, the production transferred to Off-Broadway, replacing Kennedy with Sherie Rene Scott. In 2014, a film adaptation premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, staring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick.

Jenna Pastuszek, playing the role of Cathy, claims "If you've ever been in a relationship, you know parts of what these two characters are going through. I can easily take chunks of text from either Jamie or Cathy and talk about a time in my own life in which that text applied."

Since the original premiere, The Last 5 Years has been produced all over the world, from London to Israel, while the cast album has sold over 85,000 copies to date, giving access to fans and creating a new following all over the globe.

Meyers concludes, "I can relate on a very personal level. The Last 5 Years takes you inside the experience of the growth and decay of a passionate relationship, and reveals, perhaps why we make the mistakes we do. It begs the question: In love, does everything happen for a reason, or do we alone decide our fate?"

For More Information: www.eagletheatre.org

The Eagle Theatre, South Jersey's only year-round professional Equity theatre, is dedicated to redefining regional theatre through innovation, enlightened production techniques and the development of eclectic theatrics.

Under The Direction of Ted Wioncek III & Ed Corsi, this nationally recognized, award-winning regional theatre produces more than 160 live performances each year, including full-scale Broadway caliber World Premieres and re-conceptualized revivals; New Works Development Series, a play reading series dedicated the nurturing local playwrights; a traveling Theatre for Youth Audiences program, specializing in providing arts education to schools in under served communities; an Annual Fringe Festival, a 3-day street fair and theatrical marathon, featuring multiple eclectic productions, a beer and wine garden, pop-up art, food, live music, and street performers; Innovations Factory, a core of theming artist dedicated to experimental storytelling through medium advancing technology; and Eagle Theatre Conservatory, a year-round tuition based theatrical institute for all ages and levels of professionalism. In addition, Eagle Theatre is serves on Facebook's inaugural SMB Council for Small Business.

The Eagle Theatre's beginnings were humble, with just a simple announcement printed in the local newspaper in June of 1914, stating that "Mr. Litke will put up a concrete building on his lot on Vine Street, for his moving picture winter theatre." From that, the Eagle Theatre was born.

Eagle Theatre originally opened its doors in 1914 as a silent movie theatre and playhouse from 1914 until 1944, when it was then sold to the Pentecostal Assembly of God and converted into a church. The church occupied the building for 15 years, then sold it to Harry and Evelyn Hitman in 1959. The Hitman's used the building for storage until 2006. By that time, the old building was on the verge of being demolition. Tracy Petrongolo, the head of the Hammonton's arts and cultural committee, researched the building's history and determined that it was worthy of preservation. What followed was a remarkable example of dedication by a devoted base of volunteers who were intent on seeing the theatre restored.

The theatre was restored in 2009 to serve as a performing arts center. Since the reopening, Eagle Theatre has quickly grown into a nationally recognized non-profit producing organization.

Today, this award-winning culturally diverse epicenter boasts state of the art technical equipment, a free parking lot, Sharrott Winery's on-site Wine Lounge, and is located within walking distance of several boutiques and acclaimed dining destinations in beautifully revitalized Downtown Hammonton, serving patrons from New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York, and beyond.

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