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Camelot Theatre stages 'The Last Five Years'

“The Last Five Years” is an up-close and personal look at a relationship between a writer, Jamie Wellerstein, and a struggling actress, Cathy Hiatt. The musical's unconventional structure lets Wellerstein tell his story chronologically, while Hiatt's story is told in reverse. The two characters meet only once during the performance — at their engagement and wedding in the middle of the show.

Told through song and from both points of view, this musical — with book, music and lyrics by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown — is an emotional and intimate tale about two ambitious New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years.

Variety said of "The Last Five Years,“ "Short, bittersweet and nearly perfect, Brown has come up with a winning combination of music and book ...”

Rolling Stone wrote, “Let it in and it knocks you back on your heels. Just like love.”

“The Last Five Years” previews Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 2-3, opens Friday, Sept. 4, and runs through Oct. 4 at Camelot Theatre, 101 Talent Ave., Talent. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays.

The Sept. 2 preview is a fundraiser for the P.E.O. Sisterhood's scholarships for women. Tickets for this performance are available only through local P.E.O. chapters. Tickets for the Sept. 3 preview are $14. Tickets for all other performances are $29, $27 for students and seniors (except for Sunday matinees), and can be purchased at the box office, online at camelottheatre.org or by calling 541-535-5250. A pay-what-you-can performance will be offered at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Camelot accepts Oregon Trail Cards, and student rush tickets are available for $10 (cash only) 10 minutes before all performances except Sundays.

Born in Tarrytown, N.Y., Brown began writing music at age 7. His influences include such pop artists as Billy Joel and Carole King and show-tune legends George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. To quote Brown, “To be an aspiring writer for musical theater is to worship regularly at the Church of Steve Sondheim.”

Brown won Tony Awards for his work on "Parade" — produced on Broadway late in 1998 — and "The Bridges of Madison County" — which premiered on Broadway in early 2014.

Directed by Camelot’s artistic director Livia Genise, “The Last Five Years” features musical direction by John Taylor and choreography by Amanda Andersen. The show stars Andersen as actress Haitt and Nathan Monks as writer Wellerstein. Musicians for the production include Taylor on synthesizer and keyboards, Beth Martin on violin and Sue Flynn on cello.

“At our first production meeting, I was asked who was responsible for the relationship not working in this story? Genise says in a press release. "And guess what? There are two sides to the story. Maybe it’s Jamie, maybe it’s Cathy. Maybe they were just together as long as they were supposed to be. I think our audience will ultimately decide based on whose story resonates with them the most.”

Actress and choreographer Andersen counts Christy/Courtney in "American Psycho," Yonah in "Children of Eden," Martha in "The Secret Garden" and Gigi in "Gigi" among her favorite roles. She trained at the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts, and she teaches acting, voice, movement and Shakespeare.

Monks is from Fullerton, Calif. He moved to the Rogue Valley in 2009. He played Pontius Pilate in Camelot's recent production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and Joe Gillis in "Sunset Boulevard."

The production team for “The Last Five Years” includes Brian O’Connor on sound, audio and video design, properties by Shelly Hall, lighting design by Evan Carbonne, and set design, construction, technical direction and carpentry by Don Zastoupil. Costume design is by Brianna Gowland and Rose Hope.