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Book, Music & Lyrics by

Jason Robert Brown

Wishlist by
Eric Freitas
Production History

Jason Robert Brown said that the idea came to him when he was walking in New York. Having just
closed his most recent show Parade. He said that he wanted to do something different, in scope and
size. The idea of a two person show came to him right away, along with the idea of these two people
singing about their relationship to each other, which gave all the individual songs a connection. Soon
after, his idea to have the relationship start at different points and cross came to him, and The Last
Five Years was born.

The Last Five Years opened in Chicago, Illinois in 2001 at the Northlight Theatre. It premiered with
Norbert Leo Butz and Lauren Kennedy as Jamie and Cathy. The show ran from May to July with a
total of 73 performances. The show then transferred to the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City
Off-Broadway, where it ran from March to May of 2002. Kennedy was replaced by Sherie Rene Scott
for the Off-Broadway cast of the production.

The show was brought back again at Second Stage theatre for a limited engagement, and featured
Adam Kantor as Jamie and Betsy Wolfe as Catherine. Jason Robert Brown also directed the revival,
which ran from March to July of 2013.

The original production was nominated for 7 Drama Desk Awards, including: Outstanding Actor,
Outstanding Actress, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Orchestrations, and Outstanding Set Design.
It won for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics.

The original production also received the Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Outstanding Off-
Broadway Musical; and the Lucille Lortel Nomination for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding
Actor.

The revival received the Off-Broadway Alliance Award Nomination for Best Musical Revival, and
the Henry Hewes Design Award Nomination for Best Set Design.

The film was nominated for the Chicago International Film Festival for the Audience Choice Award,
and the Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards for Best Actress; it won the Traverse City Film
Festival Founders Prize Special Award for the Director, Richard LaGravenese.
Musical Numbers

Still Hurting - Cathy

Shiksa Goddess - Jamie

See Im Smiling - Cathy

Moving Too Fast - Jamie

A Part of That - Cathy

The Schmuel Song - Jamie

A Summer In Ohio - Cathy

The Next Ten Minutes - Jamie, Cathy

A Miracle Would Happen/When You Come Home to Me - Jamie, Cathy

Climbing Uphill - Cathy

If I Didnt Believe In You - Jamie

I Can Do Better Than That - Cathy

Nobody Needs to Know - Jamie

Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You - Jamie, Cathy


Production History

Original Chicago Cast

Jamie Wellerstein . . . . . . . Norbert Leo Butz


Catherine Hiatt . . . . . . . . Lauren Kennedy

Original Off-Broadway Cast

Jamie Wellerstein . . . . . . . Norbert Leo Butz


Catherine Hiatt . . . . . . . . Sherie Rene Scott

2013 Off-Broadway Revival Cast

Jamie Wellerstein . . . . . . . Adam Kantor


Catherine Hiatt . . . . . . . . Betsy Wolfe

2014 Film Adaptation Cast

Jamie Wellerstein . . . . . . . Jeremy Jordan


Catherine Hiatt . . . . . . . . Anna Kendrick

2016 Concert Cast

Jamie Wellerstein . . . . . . . Joshua Henry


Catherine Hiatt . . . . . . . . Cynthia Erivo

2016 West End Cast

Jamie Wellerstein . . . . . . . Jonathan Bailey


Catherine Hiatt . . . . . . . . Samantha Barks
Production History

Jason Robert Brown (Book, Music & Lyrics):


Known as a famous lyricist, writer, and musician. He attended Eastman School of Music. After college,
he became an accompanist for various cabarets and nightclubs. Brown eventually ended up collaborating
with Daisy Prince on his first show, Songs for a New World. He then went on to write Parade, which
earned him a Tony for Best Original Score. He wrote The Last Five Years after that, and it was slightly
based on his failed marriage. His next show, Urban Cowboy, earned him another Tony nomination in
2002. His other noted works include 13: The Musical, The Bridges of Madison County, and Honeymoon
in Vegas. Brown has become well known for his unusual style of composing, using unusual melodic lines
as well as incorporating mixed meter throughout.

Daisy Prince (Director):


Daughter of Hal Prince, she was a frequent collaborator with Jason Robert Brown, working on Songs for
a New World, Parade, and The Last Five Years. She has also worked on and directed The Rothschilds.
Along with being a director, Prince is also an actress, having been in shows such as Merrily We Roll
Along, The Petrified Prince, and others.

Norbert Leo Butz (Jamie Wellerstein):


Norbert Leo Butz was the replacement for Adam Pascal in Rent, after he starred in The Last Five Years.
He rose to stardom when he originated the role of Fiyero in Wicked. Butz went on to win two Tony
Awards, for Best Supporting Actor in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Best Lead Actor in Catch Me If You
Can. Butz has worked on other Broadway shows like Big Fish, Is He Dead?, Enron, Dead Accounts, and
the Netflix original show Bloodline.

2002 New York:


In New York at the time, the theatre scene was thriving, despite post 9/11, and many shows were in full
swing, including The Producers, Urinetown, 42nd Street, Follies, Dreamgirls, A Class Act, Mamma Mia!,
Noises Off, Bells Are Ringing, and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

The city of New York was attempting to rebuild itself, and looked to its artists to help them escape from
their grief that was surrounding them. Many Broadway shows stayed afloat, due to high profile New York
politicians flocking to the Great White Way. This led to many Off-Broadway shows, such as Tick, Tick...
BOOM, to close. Many producers donated tickets so that New Yorkers could afford to see them, with
many shows performing God Bless America after their curtain call. For The Last Five Years, the show
was not that affected by the tragedy, because the show opened the summer after 9/11.
Foundations of the Plot

The Last Five Years

Time:
- Takes place through 2002-2007. Also could be present day.
- Musical was written in late 2001.
- Show is often set in present day, due to the fact that it doesnt really date itself in the text.

Place:
- The musical takes place in New York City and Ohio, where Cathy is doing her summer stock
theatre shows.
- The Next Ten Minutes originally takes place in a boat in Central Park, but for our purposes of
staging, we made it a bench overlooking the river.

Society and Culture:


- Post 9-11, fear of terrorists, extremists, and any Muslims that made people feel uncomfortable.
- Women still struggling to obtain finer rights that men have, however they are pretty much equal
in this era.
- 2000s clothing was baggy, and was trying to escape the crazy fashion of the 90s.

Economics:
- Invasion of Iraq has just begun, stocks were still low due to 9-11
- The housing market was a couple years away from collapsing (2008).
- USs national debt was not as high as in 2016, current standings with foreign countries was still
good as well.

Politics and Law:


- George W. Bush was President, after his stunning upset over Bill Gates in 2000.
- Majority of the government was Republican, had lot of gridlock, much like today.
- Government is a democracy.
Foundations of the Plot

Scene 1: Jamie has just left Cathy. He left his wedding ring as well as a note detailing that he was leaving
on the table for her to read.
Scene 2: Jamie has just said goodbye to Cathy after their first date. He sings about how he would be okay
if she had any flaws, just so long as she isnt Jewish. He also says that he is in love with her at the end of
the song.
Scene 3: Jamie has surprised Cathy by visiting her in Ohio, where she is in a show. The scene then cuts to
Jamie speaking to his agent on the phone, about dropping off a draft of his novel for her to read. Cuts
back to Jamie telling Cathy that he has to leave Ohio tomorrow. Cuts back to Jamie speaking to his friend
that hes moving in with Cathy.
Scene 4: Jamie recalls how all the amazing events in his life are all happening so fast and all at once,
which overwhelms him a little. Events such as: Atlantic Monthly printing a chapter of his book, signing
with an agent who loves him, moving in with Cathy, and Sonny Mehta (editor-in-chief and chairman of
Alfred A. Knopf Publishing Co.) reading his book.
Scene 5: Jamie is at a book signing, with Cathy right beside him. Cathy sings about what its like to be
with him, and describes his process of concentration while writing.
Scene 6: During their second Christmas together, Jamie tells Cathy an elaborate story, titled The
Schmuel Song, he convinces Cathy to re-ignite her passion for acting, and gives her a magazine with
auditions in it, a headshot photographers card, and a watch as gifts for her.
Scene 8: Jamie and Cathy are in a boat in Central Park, and he asks her to marry him. We get a glimpse
into their love and how they fell for each other. The scene then cuts to their wedding.
Scene 9: Jamie speaks, (possibly to his guy friends or the audience) about his constant struggle to remain
faithful to his marriage. He also wishes that they were both successful together, that way life could be
easier.
Scene 10: While at his agents office, Jamie has to convince Cathy that the woman hes with is in fact his
agent.
Scene 11: Jamie and Cathy are fighting, and hes upset at her for not wanting to go to his party. In his
frustration, he lets slip that he is mad at her for being upset and jealous of his success, and he states that
he wont sacrifice his success to make her happy.
Scene 12: Five months after their first date (in Scene 2) Cathy is driving Jamie down to meet her parents
for the first time, as she reminisces about all the bad guys shes dated.
Scene 13: Jamie wakes up in bed, with another woman. He tells her that this was a mistake and that no
one needs to know, but eventually he says that he loves her.
Scene 14: Jamie writes a note to Cathy saying that he is leaving her, and he leaves it, along with his ring,
on the table, and goes.
Foundations of the Plot

Scene Information:

The main idea of the scene is a combination of Jamies proposal to Cathy, since it is the literal middle of
their relationship and the middle of the show-essentially the climax. Another layer to this scene is that we,
the audience, need to see that physical/emotional connection and chemistry between the two, since it is
the first time we see them together onstage in the entire show. So with that, the other idea is we need to
see where their love grew, as well as get glimpses of why it fell apart, which makes it a complex, layered
scene.

Moment Before:

Right before this scene, Cathy just sang A Summer In Ohio where she laments at her life in a summer
stock theatre away from Jamie. Jamies previous song was The Schmuel Song where he tries to
convince Cathy to continue pursuing her career because he wants her to be successful and happy.

Right before The Next Ten Minutes starts, Ive assumed that Jamie and Cathy went out for a date
together, have probably just had lunch and decided to take a stroll in Central Park. Through discussions in
class and with my partner, weve also assumed that there has probably been an awkward couple minutes
of silence, because they both know that Jamie is planning on proposing to Cathy, which then sparks her to
start asking him questions, getting into The Next Ten Minutes.

Moment After:

Right after the scene is finished, the couple continues their cross through their respective points in the
relationship, with Cathy going back through their relationship, and Jamie continuing his chronological
path through the end of it.

Jamie sings A Miracle Would Happen to his guy friends, lamenting at the difficulties of staying faithful
to his new wife, Cathy. He ultimately says that she is worth it however. When we see Cathy, she is at an
audition that she believes is going very well, and is convinced that her life is turning around. Jamie
wishes that he could be there to celebrate her success, and says that hell be there as soon as he can.
Character

Name: Jamie Wellerstein

Age: 23-25

Occupation: Novelist/Author

Super Objective: To obtain his idea of success: fame, love, and admiration; through his writing, and
possibly through his relationship with Cathy.

Relationships: Jamie dates Catherine Hiatt, an aspiring actress. They get married and seperate over the
course of their relationship, which lasts five years.

Obstacles: Cathys jealousy of his success, the women who tempt his fidelity, his idea that he needs to
be in love with someone in order to be happy.

Vocal Range: A2-A4 (Tenor w/low extension).

Background: With Moving Too Fast being the leading contribution to his background, not much is
said about Jamie, however we gather that he went to Columbia University, most likely for Literature,
Creative Writing, or English, but then he dropped out to pursue his literary career. He has released a
successful book which was published by Random House. Also, from the actors that have portrayed him
on stage and screen, we can also assume that Jamie is a lean, well-built, attractive man who very much
looks like he is in his early to mid 20s.

Requirements: Strong singing voice; strong acting ability; stereotypical Jewish accent for a song.
Character

What People Say About Me:

1) Jamie is over and Jamie is gone. Jamies decided its time to move on. Jamie has new dreams hes
building upon. - Cathy, Still Hurting
2) Jamie arrived at the end of the line. Jamies convinced that the problems are mine. Jamies
probably feeling just fine. - Cathy, Still Hurting
3) No Jamie you do not have to go to another party with the same twenty jerks you already know.
You could stay with your wife on her fucking birthday and you could, God forbid, even see my
show. - Cathy See Im Smiling
4) And I know in your soul it must drive you crazy that you wont get to play with your little
girlfriends. - Cathy See Im Smiling
5) and the point is that you cant spend a day that isnt about you. - Cathy See Im Smiling
6) And the hes off on a trip to Jamie-Land: staring catatonic out the window, barely even
breathing all the while. - Cathy A Part of That
7) And then hell smile, his eyes light up, and deep within the ground, without a sound, a moment
comes to life. - Cathy A Part of That
8) Then he gets on the mule train to Jamie-Land: handful after handful of Doritos, circling the
apartment logging miles.. And then he smiles. - Cathy A Part of That
9) I dont know how anybody survives in this life without someone like you. - Cathy The Next
Ten Minutes
10) But Jamie needs space to write. Whats he going to be like when we have kids? - Cathy
Climbing Uphill
Character

What I Say About Myself:


1) I've been waiting through Danica Schwartz and Erica Weiss and the Handelman twins. I've been
waiting through Heather Greenblatt, Annie Mincus, Karen Pincus and Lisa Katz. And Stacy
Rosen, Ellen Kaplan, Julie Silber and Janie Stein. I've had Shabbas dinners on Friday nights with
every Shapiro in Washington Heights, but the minute I first met you I could barely catch my
breath. I've been standing for days with the phone in my hand, like an idiot scared to death. I've
been wandering through the desert I've been beaten, I've been hit! My people have suffered for
thousands of years and I dont give a shit! -Jamie Shiksa Goddess
2) Ive been waiting for someone, Ive been praying for someone, I think that I could be in love
with someone like you! -Jamie Shiksa Goddess
3) Rob, you know how my lease is up? You know how I want to get a new apartment? What if I
said I was gonna get one with Cathy? -Jamie, Scene 3
4) I found a woman I love and I found an agent who loves me. -Jamie Moving Too Fast
5) I dreamed of writing like the high and mighty - now Im the subject of a bidding war! Im doing
things I never dreamed of before! -Jamie Moving Too Fast
6) I left Columbia and I dont regret it. I wrote a book and Sonny Mehta read it! -Jamie Moving
Too Fast
7) There are so many lives I want to share with you - I will never be complete until I do. -Jamie
The Next Ten Minutes
8) If I didn't believe in you, we'd never have gotten this far. If I didn't believe in you and all of the
ten thousand women you are. If I didn't think you could do anything you ever wanted to, if I
wasn't certain that you'd come through somehow, the fact of the matter is, Cathy, I wouldn't be
standing here now. -Jamie If I Didnt Believe In You
9) If I didn't believe in you, we wouldn't be having this fight. If I didn't believe in you
I'd walk out the door and say, "Cathy, you're right." But I never could let that go
knowing the things about you I know- things, when I met you four years ago, I knew. It never
took much convincing to make me believe in you. -Jamie If I Didnt Believe In You
10) I will not fail so you can be comfortable, Cathy. I will not lose because you cant win. -Jamie
If I Didnt Believe In You
11) I made a promise and I took a vow. I wrote a story, and we changed the ending - Cathy, just
look at me now! -Jamie Nobody Needs to Know
Character

Character Plot:
Due to the nature of the show only having two characters, Jamies character plot is similar to the plot of
the show, therefore I have copied and pasted it from above.

Scene 1: Jamie has just left Cathy. He left his wedding ring as well as a note detailing that he was leaving
on the table for her to read.
Scene 2: Jamie has just said goodbye to Cathy after their first date. He sings about how he would be okay
if she had any flaws, just so long as she isnt Jewish. He also says that he is in love with her at the end of
the song.
Scene 3: Jamie has surprised Cathy by visiting her in Ohio, where she is in a show. The scene then cuts to
Jamie speaking to his agent on the phone, about dropping off a draft of his novel for her to read. Cuts
back to Jamie telling Cathy that he has to leave Ohio tomorrow. Cuts back to Jamie speaking to his friend
that hes moving in with Cathy.
Scene 4: Jamie recalls how all the amazing events in his life are all happening so fast and all at once,
which overwhelms him a little. Events such as: Atlantic Monthly printing a chapter of his book, signing
with an agent who loves him, moving in with Cathy, and Sonny Mehta (editor-in-chief and chairman of
Alfred A. Knopf Publishing Co.) reading his book.
Scene 5: Jamie is at a book signing, with Cathy right beside him. Cathy sings about what its like to be
with him, and describes his process of concentration while writing.
Scene 6: During their second Christmas together, Jamie tells Cathy an elaborate story, titled The
Schmuel Song, he convinces Cathy to re-ignite her passion for acting, and gives her a magazine with
auditions in it, a headshot photographers card, and a watch as gifts for her.
Scene 8: Jamie and Cathy are in a boat in Central Park, and he asks her to marry him. We get a glimpse
into their love and how they fell for each other. The scene then cuts to their wedding.
Scene 9: Jamie speaks, (possibly to his guy friends or the audience) about his constant struggle to remain
faithful to his marriage. He also wishes that they were both successful together, that way life could be
easier.
Scene 10: While at his agents office, Jamie has to convince Cathy that the woman hes with is in fact his
agent.
Scene 11: Jamie and Cathy are fighting, and hes upset at her for not wanting to go to his party. In his
frustration, he lets slip that he is mad at her for being upset and jealous of his success, and he states that
he wont sacrifice his success to make her happy.
Scene 12: Five months after their first date (in Scene 2) Cathy is driving Jamie down to meet her parents
for the first time, as she reminisces about all the bad guys shes dated.
Scene 13: Jamie wakes up in bed, with another woman. He tells her that this was a mistake and that no
one needs to know, but eventually he says that he loves her.
Scene 14: Jamie writes a note to Cathy saying that he is leaving her, and he leaves it, along with his ring,
on the table, and goes.
Circumstances

Who:
Jamie Wellerstein

What:
Jamie proposing to Cathy.

When:
2004

Where:
Central Park, a bench that overlooks the river.

Why:
Jamie wants to take things further with Cathy, and believes that she will complete him by being his wife.

Objective:
To gain completion for myself through this marriage.

Actions/Tactics:
To play, to flirt, to entertain, to inspire, to seduce, to woo, to worship

Obstacle:
Jamie cannot form the words/this situation is harder for him than he thought.

Trigger:
Feeling the ring in my pocket as we sit down.

Environment:
Central Park, on a bench that overlooks the river, as well as some of the New York landmarks.

Time:
Around noon.

Around Me:
Cathy, maybe a couple of passersbys in the park.
Personal Response

The role of Jamie Wellerstein is a very interesting one. His journey through the relationship with

Cathy is very intriguing and engaging, with the conflict of his success versus Cathys failures particularly

telling. His arc and transformation from a caring, sweet, and engaging spouse to one of spite, remorse,

and infidelity is told very well throughout the show, so much that some people might even sympathize or

even root for Jamie at the end of the show.

I believe that I am right to play Jamie because I could convey his struggle of his newfound

success and how it affects him and Cathy very well. I believe that I truly understand Jamies journey, and

feel that I could bring some similar experience to it, along with my experiences with relationships to the

role. This would allow me to portray Jamie as a three-dimensional character, someone who did love

Cathy at one point, but became lost in himself, his fame and success. I think that its very easy for people

to play Jamie as the bad guy in the relationship, when I dont believe that it is the case here. Its this deep

understanding of the text that I believe sets me apart from others and makes me suitable for the role.

From a casting perspective, I believe that I could convincingly play a Jewish man in his mid 20s,

due to my look. The show requires that Jamie be a good singer and actor as well, and these are two fields

that I am confident in abilities. Jamies vocal range throughout the show is very similar to my own. He

needs to have vocal stamina as well, since there isnt a lot of dialogue in the show, and that the songs are

very demanding on their own. Having been a classically trained singer and sung all my life, I believe that

I could easily take on this demand for 8 shows a week. Along with the requirements listed above, Jamie

also uses a Yiddish accent throughout The Schmuel Song. Having also had experience with dialects,

coupled with my ability to pick up new material very fast, I believe that I could learn the dialect quickly

and efficiently so it would not inhibit my performance and instead aid it.
Rehearsal Log

September 28th:
Discussed characters and show, as well as arc of song, notating anything we found interesting in the score
that could possibly aid us. Did some rough staging of the scene.

September 30th:
Came together again, after doing our own separate research. Re-discussed our characters, the story, and
the song. Then we played, exploring anything that came out of our impulses and blocked out the scene.

October 16th:
After 1st coaching, we came back together and discussed more of what our characters and how they
would honestly act in the scenes situation. We played with different ideas and concepts, eventually re-
staging some key moments that we believed read clearer to the audience.

November 7th:
Same as above, this time we played with highlighting different moments and reactions to see what that
would give us. Strengthened what we liked in the scene so that way we could play more with open
moments. We were struggling to find areas to fill when there wasnt any singing.

On my own, I made a timeline of Jamie and Cathys relationship, using a chart to track their journey
chronologically, as well as separately. In addition to that, I read up on Jason Robert Brown, to get a sense
of him as a human, since the show is more a less a close examination of his failed marriage. I also did
some research into creative writing and rented a couple books on how to write a novel/story. I did this to
better understand the method behind Jamies success, and how hard it actually is to sit down and write out
a story. I also watched marriage proposals on YouTube to see how the couples reacted when they were
proposed to, as well as their spouses body language right before they proposed.

I included photos from the original production, which was included in the Applause Libretto for the show.
It helped me a lot because they really showed the essence of the characters in one moment, which was
nice for me to find an image to connect to as well.
Bibliography

"The Last Five Years - Lortel Archives." The Last Five Years - Lortel Archives. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov.
2016.

"Biography." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.

"Jason Robert Brown." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.

"Daisy Prince - Lortel Archives." Daisy Prince - Lortel Archives. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.

League, The Broadway. "IBDB.com." Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

"Broadway Shows by Year - Opened in 2001." Browse 2001 Broadway Shows. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov.
2016.

"Broadway on 9/11 and after." Broadway on 9/11 and after (BroadwayWorld.com Board). N.p., n.d.
Web. 16 Nov. 2016.