Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘the last five years

See I’m Smiling

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Another video from “The Last Five Years.” This song comes from the perspective of Cathy, who is married to Jamie from the previous post. This is her moment wherein the relationship is shown to be collapsing. A beautiful and heart wrenching song performed here by Sherie Rene Scott. This is one of my favorite songs in the show because it captures so much in the relationship between Cathy and Jamie. Enjoy (well, I’m not sure if that’s the appropriate thing to wish people with this song, but alas, it’s the best I’ve got), so I hope you like it thoroughly.

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Written by barryr22

January 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Nobody Needs to Know

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A song from Jason Robert Brown’s musical “The Last Five Years.” Beautiful song from a beautiful musical that is currently being made into a film starring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick. Here, the song is performed by Norbert Leo Butz. And my soul dies, and I wish I were a tenor…

Written by barryr22

January 4, 2014 at 11:11 pm

The Last Five Years: Goodbye Until Tomorrow / I Could Never Rescue You

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As most of my readers know, my posts are kind of scatter shot at time because I like many, many things. One of them is musicals, and lately, I’ve been listening to one of my favorites that I come back to on regular occasion: The Last Five Years.

Now, I don’t know how many of you have heard of this musical. It’s written by Jason Robert Brown (he’s amazing) and the original cast recording with Norbert Leo Butz (just won a second Tony for “Catch Me if You Can”) and Sherie Rene Scott (love her!). Anyway, the musical is the story of a couple who falls in love, gets married, and then divorced. However, there’s a narrative twist of sorts in this musical. She is living the process from the divorce to first meeting him while he is experiencing it from the beginning to the end. Below is her first song called “Still Hurting” which is tearful and sad…

The next video is one of two duets of the show. This particular one takes place at the end where Kathy is seeing Jaime go for the first time while he is leaving her forever….it’s called “Goodbye Until Tomorrow / I Could Never Rescue You.” Moreover, this song is probably the most heartbreaking of the show, but it’s beautiful.

I recommend this musical to any and everyone who does not know if they are interested in the genre. It’s beautiful and simplistic…however, the simple is beautiful and complex in this instance. It deals with the human condition, which may be the reason that I come back to it so often.

The Last Five Years

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I don’t know if any of you out there in the blog world are familiar with the musical The Last Five Years, but it is brilliant. From the concept itself to the music of Jason Robert Brown, it is amazing. It is the perfect blend of narration, conceptual idea, and beautiful music.

The story of the musical follows two main characters (actually the only people in the show) and their relationship, marriage, and the inevitable failure of both. You’re probably sitting there wondering how this can be a new or different idea. And if you’re looking for an offbeat story, don’t let the plot throw you to thinking that it’s mediocre (even though the plot is beautifully written). The true beauty of this musical lies in the format. Cathy, the female lead and also an actress, starts at the end of the relationship in the play and moves backwards through every fight and lovely moment until we get to the beginning. Jamie, the male lead and a budding writer, on the other hand, starts at the beginning and moves toward the end. While both of them effect the other over the course of the musical, they only have a couple of songs that they sing together, and when they do, believe me when I say it’s for dramatic and emotional effect.

With the vocal talents of Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott, Jason Robert Brown (a relative unknown among the musical greats of Sondheim and Webber) has his music brought to life. With fun pieces such as “Summer in Ohio,” “Shiksa Goddess,” and others, Brown lightens the mood of the story by making us see that relationships aren’t all bad…there is good in even the worst of relationships. But this also makes the other powerful numbers like “Still Hurting”, “Nobody Needs to Know”, “Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You”, and others stand out to be even more heartbreaking and beautiful. It is a perfect blend of both teetering on the edge of collapse, just like the couple’s marriage.

Although The Last Five Years has been out since 2002, it still holds true today and is a beautiful music, lyrics, and mood can still touch the masses. It is something that is truly timeless in my opinions and is a musical that I continue to come back to while others may fade into the recesses of my mind. Why? Because the ideas are something that we can relate to…losing love after working so hard to see it succeed and grow.

“Still Hurting”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47R4kjgysgg

“Climbing Up Hill”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnc-RvXdVEM

“Shiksa Goddess”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C99-mHTMSzI

Musical Theater 101

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Eventually in the grand scheme of small town theater whether it be on a high school level, community, or even small town college theater, the idea of doing a musical comes into someone’s mind. While musicals are fun and can create a decent revenue for a group that is willing to put the time and effort into singing and acting their hearts out, they should be selected by some stringent guidelines.

1) Number of people in the musical. If you have a small theater group, don’t pick something that requires 40 people to be able to sing, dance, and act because chances are that some of those people will not be able to do all three. If you’ve ever been involved with a small production, you will know exactly what I’m saying. Most of the time people who can do one or two of the three can’t do the coveted other. It’s just the fact of the matter. How do I know? Because I myself fall into this category of actor. I feel that I can sing and act to a degree; however, if you ask me to dance, I will have to be shown how to do the simplest of steps repeatedly. This is not saying that I can’t dance. I just have to have some special attention when it comes to it.

2) Quality of the people you have. If you are thinking about doing a musical like Sweeney Todd where you must have at least 8+ main people who have to be able to sing and have an ensemble that can carry a tune, please for the love of all that is good and holy don’t pick the musical. Most musicals that are performed on Broadway are there for a reason. They require high-caliber actors and actresses to make them come to life because the vocal ability that is contained within the musical is that great. There are some shows that cannot be done by simple hometown theater leagues because they will fall apart and havoc will ensue…I know I’ve been involved with productions like this (sad to say).

3) Cost. Musical royalties are really, really expensive, even for the oldest and most simplistic of musicals. Why? Because you have to rent the music and buy the scripts…then, there’s the whole returning the music and the possibility of them being “damaged”, etc. This along with the price you have to pay to perform the show are sometimes too great for smaller companies. Also, it is not smart of any level to try to perform without paying the royalties because you can be sued for such things. It’s just not good all the way around.

4) Orchestra. You can’t do a big musical without one. If you do, your musical will be mediocre at best…that’s all I’m saying about that one.

A few suggestions of musicals that I would make for people who are lacking in any of these areas are those that require smaller casts and a fewer number of brilliant singers. The Man of la Mancha, which is the story of Cervantes, is a really good one for those who have a few talented people. You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Fantasticks, and The Last Five Years are also possibilities. YGMCB and The Fantasticks require a few decent singers to have a good, fun show. The Last Five Years requires a good tenor and a good soprano to make the show fly. All of these shows are good for smaller companies, and if you have questions about any of them, I would suggest youtubing songs from them. All of them are brilliant in their own right and would do well in a smaller forum.

Man of La Mancha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKs7rLkqQcQ

The Last Five Years

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zfh5H3rZbc

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hupe1gtIYY&feature=related

The Fantasticks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We-EG-N41eg&feature=related