A musical featuring the composer of four of the “Very Potter Musical” songs comes to State College tonight.
The musical, “The Last Five Years,” was written and composed by Jason Robert Brown and is being performed in The State Theatre’s smaller venue, The Attic.
This show is a “contemporary musical with only two actors,” Richard Biever, executive director at The State Theatre, said.
The musical is told by two different perspectives, he said. One is by a husband, the other by his wife, he said.
The story is told in opposite directions of time, Biever said.
“The Last Five Years” has the male character tell a love story from beginning to end, while the female character starts at the end and works backwards, he said.
“[It is] a story of how a marriage dissolves,” Biever said.
Robert Schneider, director of the show, said this musical covers the entire five years of a relationship.
“[It begins] from the first time they met until their divorce,” he said.
Schneider, assistant theater professor at Penn State , said the performance is composed of 14 songs where each character “take[s] turns telling sides of the story.”
Biever said the couple only performs one song together when they are married.
The lead, male role is played by A. J. Holmes, co-composer and pianist from the “Very Potter Musical.” Holmes has also composed music for the show “Me and My Dick.”
Holmes said he has always loved “The Last Five Years” musical.
“I grew up learning how to play the piano with [Jason Robert Brown’s] music,” he said. “[I] sang it in my rooms at the top of my lungs,” he added.
“The Last Five Years,” is a basic story about a couple “going in and out of love,” Holmes said.
It has very few speaking lines, only involving a couple of monologues and a book reading, he said. The show involves no interactive dialogue, he said.
Holmes said the musical is “extremely relatable.”
“Everybody’s gone through a break up,” he said. “You substitute your own experiences and your own emotions as you watch these characters,” he added.
Biever said that although the musical is a “serious show,” it is entertaining and has some funny parts.
“It’s about 20-something. It hits the college-aged kids perfectly,” he said.
Schneider said the storyline is a “touching tale.” He said the show is “beautiful” and leaves the audience thinking.
“It’s really intimate,” he said. “You are right in this couple’s relationship,” he added.
There are 14 performances for this musical, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. and continuing until Wednesday Feb. 27. Many shows are already sold out because The Attic is a smaller venue that holds 60 audience members.
Tickets are $15 and the performance lasts about 90 minutes.