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ISSUE 117 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/26/2003

Five stars for 'The Last Five Years'

By Emelie Heltsley
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 26, 2003

Matt Trucano ’06 made his directorial debut with "The Last Five Years," a Five Guys Theatre Company musical about the trials of marriage, love, and success.

With the vocal talents of Kate Olson ’06 (Cathy) and Chris Proczko ’04 (Jamie), "The Last Five Years" tells Jamie and Chris’s love story through 15 songs. Singing for an hour and a half is no small feat, but both singers stayed strong through the performance.

The performers were backed by a superb orchestra, including Tom Franek on piano, Beth Youngblood on violin, Bryan Hinck on cello, and Matt Peterson on bass. The orchestra was perfectly balanced with the singers—never too loud, but always heard. Although some songs had irregular timings, the orchestra stayed on top throughout.

"The Last Five Years" tells the bittersweet love story of Cathy and Jamie in an intriguing new way: Jamie tells his side of the story starting with their first date and ending with him walking out on his marriage, while Cathy starts at their failed marriage and ends at their first date. The actors "meet" in the middle, with the touching scene of Jamie’s proposal. Once I got used to this unique chronology, I was able to appreciate the musical in a deeper way; I could see why certain events took place, and what happened because of those actions.

The main question of "The Last Five Years" is, as Trucano put it, "What do we hold as more important— success or love?" Jamie is a successful writer in the process of publishing his first book. Cathy is an aspiring actress waiting for her big break and the right man. Jamie wants success; Cathy wants love. When their conflicting interests meet, Jamie has an affair and Cathy is left, according to the song, "Still Hurting."

Trucano, a theatre major, was drawn to "The Last Five Years" because of its relativity to students’ lives and its "intimate nature." The production has been in the works since the end of last school year. Olson and Proczko memorized music over the summer and came back to school ready to put the show together. The final result is an amazing production, put together in 19 days.

Emmy Kegler ’07 said, "I was amazed by the intricate emotions and the delicate way in which the two actors handled both the music and the story."

The audience ended Saturday night’s performance with a standing ovation, a fitting ending to a successful production.

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