Staff Report

The Santa Ynez High School Theatre Group will present the musical “The Last Five Years,” which it is calling an “appetizer” six weeks before its mainstage spring production, Bertolt Brecht’s “Fear and Misery of the Third Reich.”

The musical project scheduled for March 5-7 was initiated by junior Jake Gildred and is largely a student-directed and student-generated effort. Featuring Jake and junior Hailey Johnson in the two main roles, it is co-directed by seniors Kiara Costarelli and Lauren Thorburn, with choreography by junior Jessica Brown and musical direction by professional musician Kathryn Imani, who also directs a live chamber ensemble.

“The Last Five Years” is a musical written by Jason Robert Brown. The story explores a five-year relationship between Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, and Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress. The show uses a form of storytelling in which Cathy’s story is told in reverse chronological order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage), and Jamie’s is told in chronological order (starting just after the couple have first met). The characters do not directly interact except for a wedding song in the middle as their timelines intersect.

The musical style draws on a number of musical genres, including popjazz, classicalklezmerLatinrock, and folk.

The production won the 2002 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics, as well as receiving Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Actress, Outstanding Orchestrations, and Outstanding Set Design.

“The Last Five Years” will be performed just three times, at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 5 – 7, in the SYVUHS Little Theatre. General admission tickets are $5. 

This show may not be suitable for younger children as it contains mature themes. For more information, call 805-688-6487, ext. 2361.