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The Last Five Years
a Musical
by Jason Robert Brown

COMPANY : O2 at Onstage Atlanta [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. (Decatur) [WEBSITE]
ID# 1131

SHOWING : February 10, 2005 - March 20, 2005



A contemporary song-cycle musical that ingeniously chronicles the five year life of a marriage, from meeting to break-up... or from break-up to meeting, depending on how you look at it. Written by Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Songs For A New World), The Last Five Years is an intensely personal look at the relationship between a writer and an actress told from both points of view. Musicals about relationships are nothing new, but The Last Five Years manages to reinvent the familiar formula and offers up one of the brightest, freshest scores of the new century. Features Jerrica and Eric Catania as Kathy and Jody. Directed by Scott Rousseau, Musical direction by Linda Uzelac.

Director Scott F. Rousseau
Music Director Linda Uzelac
Lighting Designer Elisabeth Cooper
Light Board Op Tristan Ludden
Sound Board Op Tristan Ludden
Assistant Director Chris Montedoro
Props Design Chris Montedoro
Cast Anne Cook
Piano Karen Huckabee
Jamie Eric Catania
Cathy Jerrica Knight
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Wow... I mean, really, wow...
by KristieKrabe
Friday, March 11, 2005
**DISCLAIMER** Yes, Jerrica and Eric are very good friends of mine. However, I do believe that my review of this show is based purely on the production and not on the friendship.

That said, I loved the Last 5 Years!! When I heard that Onstage was doing a Jason Robert Brown show I was ecstatic, then depressed to hear that it had already been cast. I have to admit, I was a little wary of the pairing of the Catania's for this show. We all know about their phenomenal voices, but we also all know that in real life they are absolutely perfect for each other, so I wondered if I would buy them as a divorcing couple.

I completely did.

As Cathy, Jerrica had the daunting task of working the relationship backwards and starting from such a raw emotional place. She was completely convincing. Cathy's song were so easy to relate to (she is an actress) and I kept finding myself thinking, "Oh I love that song - I have to get the music for this. This song is good too. This one is too high for me, but damn, Jerrica sounds good!" Jerrica is able to move from a bold and brash belt number to a tender and soft song just like that.

Now, in the role of Jamie, Eric had a bit of a tough time endearing himself to the female heavy audience. I was completely won over, though, by his charm and character. Eric has an unbelievable voice, and his acting in this role was the best I have seen from him. I didn't even mind when he spit on me a little - I should have known better than to sit in the front row! And for you Ragtime fans, he even has a little "Tateh" moment.

The music from this show was great, even though I have a hard time remembering it now. These aren't songs that are easy to perform on their own, and they do go on and on, but they tell the story so completely. I have a feeling Jason Robert Brown is going to be the next Sondheim of musical theater ("Urban Cowboy" the Musical aside...)

And the small space at O2 is a perfect setting for the show. At times you had that uncomfortable feeling of "God, this couple is fighting right in front of me" which really made the emotion of the show shine through. Elisabeth Cooper's lighting was wonderful - really directing our attention to the important elements on stage. And the direction of Scott Rousseau was wonderful - however, I also questioned some of the costume changes. The musical direction of Linda Uzelac was flawless as always.

There is only one week of this show and I highly recommend taking the time to go and see it. You won't be disappointed. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Can't wait to see it! by Shadrach
I'm planning to see this show Friday night and I'm glad to hear about all the great reviews (actually, that's what prompted me to want to see this show in the first place).
No show on Friday! by Jerrica
I'm so excited that you're excited to come see the show, but if you show up Friday night you'll be ushered into "L'il Abner" as we only run Thursday (8), Saturday (4) and Sunday (7).
Sadness by Dedalus
I know -- I wanted to see it last Friday since I have tech gigs for the the rest of your run. I've had the CD for a couple years and LOVE the score -- I really wanted to see you. Any chance of an extension? AFter the 13th, I'm tech-free until May ....

Ack! by Shadrach
Thanks, Jerrica, for telling me that! I've got nothing against the cast of Lil' Abner, but I want to see L5Y. I'll make my reservation for Saturday the 19th.
Runs to 19th by Shadrach
Brad, according to OSA's website, L5Y closes on the 19th.
Une Petite Faux Pas by Dedalus
I Know-- I meant to say my last gig ends the 20th -- I was looking at the wrong week of my calendar. I'm so blond ....

Sorry... by Jerrica
No chance of an extension, Brad. This was already an extended run and we start our next project on the 21st. But we do run odd hours and the show is only 1.5hrs with no intermission. You'd be out by 5:30 on a Saturday. Hope you can make it!
the passion of the Catanias (another 4.5)
by Okely Dokely
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally, you see a film or theatrical production that gets under your skin, and sticks with you for a while. Most of the time, you go see a movie or a show, take it in, think what you think of it, leave the theater, get in your car, and you are on your merry way with your life as usual. L5Y has been the first time since I saw The Passion of the Christ last year that I have been unable to take it in, shrug it off, and be on my merry way. This show got under my skin and stuck with me.

I sometimes think I should stop seeing Eric and Jerrica in shows, because I am running out of adjectives to describe these amazing people and performers. Put them in a show by themselves, have the Steven Spielberg of Atlanta theatre direct, have one of the top 3 best MD's in town musical direct, and you undoubtedly have something special. Composer Jason Robert Brown reminds me of Jonathan Larson at his edgiest. I wondered if Eric and Jerrica could do edgy - after all, we all know they are born to perform on a cruise ship. In L5Y, you get treated to a different side of them. One that you are unlikely to see often. Here, their voices crack, they get that cool scratchy sound on some notes, and even get a little pitchy for effect. At times it seems like they are a little uncomfortable and trying way too hard to be something they're not, but they nail it 99% of the time, and they can carry a show.

On with my very few gripes: too many costume changes. I understand it's virtually unavoidable since the show takes place over the course of several years, but it may have worked better if they each had one "stock" costume that they had on all the time, and put on small accessories when necessary. They changed so much - in the first half especially - that I felt like I was at a fashion show. It upstaged the narrative to the point where I started thinking "Hmmm, he looks good in that, she looks good in that, I wonder what they'll put on next?" My other only gripe is with the score. Mr. Brown seems to have lyrical diahhrea. The songs often run upwards of 5 minutes, and it makes one wonder if some verses could have been shaved off. Jim Steinmann, who writes for Meatloaf, has the same problem. Also, with so many ballads, the songs start sounding the same. Brown is a great composer, but he has a lot of average filler songs. There are some fantastic songs from Parade, Songs for a New World, and L5Y, and if he had taken the best from those 3 shows, he could have had one hell of a kick-ass show. This production works so well because of Mr. and Mrs. Catania. During the wedding scene, I was so immersed and right there in the moment with them. A bomb could have gone off in the lobby, and I would have sat there through nuclear winter, completely unawares, watching them work their magic. I mentioned fantastic songs - Mr. Catania has made me fall in love with Shiksa Goddess. That is my next download.

There should have been more asses in the seats when I attended, so please, support these wonderful people, although save it for a time where you're not feeling sensitive or depressed, which I thakfully wasn't. The roller coaster they take you on is not for the faint of heart.

What musical theatre is all about!
by woahfred
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
THE LAST 5 YEARS is a show that deserves way more props than it gets. Anyone familiar with Jason Robert Brown or even contemporary musical theatre would probably agree. This is what musical theatre is all about--ACTING through SINGING. You should FEEL something as the characters sing. If you can sit and watch this show and not laugh or cry, you betta check yourself!

THE LAST 5 YEARS is not an easy show to watch. Your emotions are constantly flip-flopping for the entire 80 minutes. Jerrica and Eric Catania are absolutely incredible in this show--they definitely know how to give you an emotional workout.

Now, I must say up front that I have worked with both of these extremely talented individuals, but I am in no way connected with the show. I must also admit that I did have my reservations about how much I would enjoy it. As two of the most beautifully trained voices I've heard around town, I don't feel that this is a show where the actors should sound "perfect." I'm one of those firm believers that REAL singing--singing from down in the depths of your soul--shouldn't always be technically perfect. I am glad to say that my reservations were completely unfounded. Jerrica and Eric both were able to maintain impeccable pitch (as always) and let the emotion come straight through their singing, their notes painting a detailed picture of exactly what was going through the character's mind.

Without getting too much into the plot, which I think should totally be a surprise for those who aren't familiar with it, I will say that each had their stand-out moments. Jerrica Knight-Catania has the hardest job by having to start of the show with such a "downer" of a number! She hits the hardest during "See I'm Smiling"--she lets us know how upset she is without any reservations...excellent delivery of every phrase. She also stands out on "Climbing Uphill" during her audition. Anyone who's ever been involved with the audition process will be in stitches. She glides from sorrowful to humorous with ease. Jerrica proves without a doubt she can act this role even if there was no singing at all.

Eric Catania is amazing as always. I could watch this guy perform for days. If you haven't had the opportunity to hear his impeccably clear voice, you are missing out. Eric totally was ripping my heart out during "If I Didn't Believe in You"...I was really trying to keep from crying. There aren't enough words to describe how great his performance was--incredible. Both of them.

Lastly, major props to everyone involved with this production--Scott R., Linda U., the band, the crew, etc. You should all know that you've put up a helluva show.
***A MUST SEE****
by ingenueamanda
Sunday, February 13, 2005
"The Last Five Years" is a treat not to be missed. Whether you are a fan of Jason Robert Brown (and who isnt?) or you just love to hear talented young actors sing their hearts out, this show is a must see. Eric and Jerrica Catania are an incredible team. These newly-weds bring you into their world, keep you captivated and leave you breathless. Jerrica's clear and powerful voice compliment her honest and moving portrayal of Kathy. Eric's sky-high tenor rocks and sooths and he succeeds in making us love and hate Jamie. I am sure that the Catania's are going to rock the professional world of musical theater and you will say..."I knew them when they did Last Five Years in Atlanta..." Take my advice, go check out "The Last Five Years" [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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