The Last Five Years – A musical about the distance between two hearts

Prepare to have your heart broken back and forth when acclaimed director Darren Yap presents Jason Robert Brown’s acclaimed musical ‘The Last Five Years’ at La Boite Theatre.

“The Last Five Years” tells the story of Jamie and Cathy, a New York couple in their twenties who fall in love and fall in love over the course of five years.

“I think people relate to it because most people I know, including myself, we’ve all experienced the first, or the second and the third, true love,” Darren says of the the series’ enduring popularity.

“And we’ve all had heartache, whether we were dumped or had to dump that person for whatever reason. Its universal themes are somehow overwhelming.

In “The Past Five Years,” Jamie tells his story in chronological order while Cathy shares hers in reverse, allowing audiences an immersive exploration of their relationship as it inevitably blossoms and implodes. The only time Jamie and Cathy interact on stage is at their wedding.

The main roles are Robert Tripolino as Jamie and Danielle Remulta as Cathy, both making their La Boite debut. As the only actors in two-handed intimacy, Darren says it was essential he cast two actors who shared the right chemistry to convey the joy and despair of Jamie and Cathy’s doomed coupling with the emotional depth originally intended by Brown.

“Not only did Danielle sing like a dream, but we talked about love, her first love, her relationship with her family and her partner,” he says.

“We just had a candid discussion about what it feels like to fall in love and the fear of falling in love; we talked about it a lot. I loved his energy and optimism about life, which Cathy needs because that’s the wonderful and the tragic.

“Rob really wanted to roll up his sleeves, come to La Boite, come to Brisbane and play this role that he’s always wanted to play. It’s not rocket science for me; I have a great pair who are very open to a challenge, because it’s just them, and I think they go so well together.

“The Last Five Years” has become a musical theater staple since it was first staged at Chicago’s Northlight Theater in 2001 and made its off-Broadway debut in 2002, with a film adaptation starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan released in 2014. .

By tackling a modern classic with little room for deviation in the story, Darren has focused his directing talent on the set, costumes and lighting design of “The Last Five Years” which brings him into a new era while preserving the emotional heart of the story and score.

“Particularly when a show has been around for a long time, the temptation is absolutely to make it fresh, new and fun to watch,” says Darren.

“That’s the challenge: how can I do this and not corrupt the lyrics and change the structure? The exciting idea is that I’m working with a fabulous designer [Chloe Greaves] and we are now preparing it for 2022.

“Let’s not even go the COVID route. Let’s talk about now, make it look modern and youthful, so it doesn’t look old fashioned. So that from an action and design point of view, it feels current and relevant.

‘The Last Five Years’ plays at La Boite Theater (Brisbane) from 30 May to 18 June.