Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

01/03/2012 - 17/03/2012

Production Details

Last Tapes Theatre Company are proud to bring Jason Robert Brown’s contemporary song cycle The Last Five Years to Auckland’s Herald Theatre this March.  

This thought provoking show tells the story of Jamie, a promising young writer in New York, and Cathy, an actress waiting for her big break. The Last Five Years sees them share the story of their relationship – Jamie starting from the moment they first meet, and Cathy beginning her story at the end of their five years together. Their storytelling is powerfully honest, funny, and at times heartbreaking.

The Last Five Years is a landmark of contemporary, intimate musical theatre – an immediately engaging and sophisticated combination of popular pastiche and traditional art-song.

Starring Tyran Parke in the role of Jamie Wellerstein and introducing Cherie Moore in the role of Cathy Hyatt.

Exciting, innovative and altogether inspiring’ – The Chicago Tribune

Poignant…richly dramatic’ -Chicago Sun Times

Thursday 1 – Saturday 17 March
Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre 

Performance Times
Tuesday – Saturday: 8pm
Sunday: 7pm
Saturday 17 March only: 3pm

Ticketing Information
Student price available with valid ID
Credit Card Fees apply to this event if you choose to pay by credit card.
Paying by Gift Vouchers – If you wish to redeem a gift voucher when purchasing tickets to this event, please call THE EDGE call centre on 09 357 3355 or 0800 BUY TICKETS (0800 289 842 ). 

Director – Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Assistant Director – Aaron Tindell
Musical Director – Robin Kelly

Jamie Wellerstein – Tyran Parke
Cathy Hyatt – Cherie Moore

Producer – Robin Kelly
Assistant Producer – Nicky Vella
Costume Designer – Fiona Nichols
Lighting Design – Andrew Potvin
Production Design – Oliver Rosser
Set Design – Jessika Verryt
Sound Engineer – Harry Champion and Paul Crowther
Stage Manager – Stacey Donaldson

Piano – James Doy/Robin Kelly
Bass Guitar – Graham Trail
Guitar – Rob Galley

A show to fall in, and out of love..

Review by James Wenley 05th Mar 2012

In the middle of Musical The Last Five Years, Jamie and Cathy pledge their loves and their lives in the song The Next Ten Minutes, which features both a tender proposal (“Will you share your life with me / For the next ten minutes? / …. And if we make it till then can I ask you again for another ten?”), and the wedding vows (“Will you share your life with me / Forever / For the next ten lifetimes?”). It’s a love song full of dreams and beautiful sentiment in its lyrics, but melodically it’s slow, heavy, with a hint of the sinister. With a real sense of musical foreboding, not the soaring love song the lyrics suggest – this love, and its platitudes, are doomed.

But you don’t have to wait to the end of the show to find this out, nor even this middle. Right at the beginning, Cathy (Cherie Moore) tells it blunt: “Jamie is over and Jamie is gone / Jamie’s decided it’s time to move on… And I’m still hurting”. Her story starts at the end, and moves backwards, from this moment of finality through to the first faltering beats of her heart. Jamie’s (Tyran Parke) story meanwhile goes from start to finish – from puppy dog eyes to the jaded brow. [More


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Rich, full, devastatingly delicious

Review by Melisa Martin 03rd Mar 2012

Auckland’s new kid on the block, Last Tapes Theatre Company, debuted with a bang on 1 March with Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years under the fine direction of Jennifer Ward-Lealand.  

The emotional rollercoaster serves as a headstone for a marriage gone south, that could have been offered as a hollow memorial to ‘the honeymoon period’, reminiscent of Jonathan Larson’s Tick Tick BOOM.

Instead it emerges as a heart-grabbing tale of two people who never really seemed to be together at all.

This one-act show promises structural grace when we meet Cathy Hiatt, a somewhat unsuccessful musical actor, telling the story from its end – as she finds an abandoned wedding ring and a letter from her husband Jamie – backwards to their first date; a hopeful beginning.

Cherie Moore brings the character to life with delicate finesse, opening on an emotional high usually reached by building to it.

Tyran Parke as Jewish, up and coming novelist Jamie Wellerstein appears with a goofy grin on his face, as if he has just signed the deeds and become new owner of the world after their first date. We forgive his boyish excitement as soon as he begins his own opening number about his new-found ‘Shiksa Goddess’, who he has been waiting for his entire life.

The musical was composed as a series of solo songs, compiled to tell the supposed autobiographical story of Brown’s own failed marriage; which at times leaves me feeling sorry for Cathy as Jamie charms his way through witty repartees of a magical clock and the challenge of steering clear of beautiful women.

Moorewell and truly makes up for this with her doe-eyed, girl-next-door appeal made magical by the spine-tingling sound of her voice.

We are sucked into the story from Jamie’s too-familiar argument – “We wouldn’t have gotten this far, if I didn’t believe in you and all of the ten thousand women you are” – Cathy’s naïve rationalisation as her husband works: “And then he smiles, his eyes light and how can I complain? Yes he’s insane, but look what he can do, and I’m a part of that.”

Uniting for only one duet in the middle of the show, Parke and Moore eradicate any doubt of chemistry in a simple wedding scene that the entire show seemingly revolves around. The cross-over during this scene could have been disjointed and hard to follow, but was instead blended beautifully in a whirlwind of perfect timing and hair-raising harmonies.

The pair carry the show admirably, supported by a three-piece band under the musical direction of pianist Robin Kelly who leads the musicians in never missing a beat during the 80-minute performance.

The awareness of time passing and the feeling of individual isolation, aided by its wonderfully minimal staging, enhances the story and adds an element that can’t be observed, so much as felt.

If you could taste the superb performances of Parke and Moore, I think they would taste like the loveliest, creamiest chocolate dessert you’ve ever tried: rich, and full, and devastatingly delicious.


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