Guest Blog 2017

Season 52 Guest Director Eric Blume shares his notes about ‘The Last Five Years’

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is a ravishingly beautiful love story.  Some people claim that it’s a “small show” because it only features two actors and contains no spectacle.  But after working closely on the piece over the rehearsal period, I can’t imagine a “bigger” show.  The show’s bigness comes from its fearless exploration of love and commitment, tackling the fears, anxieties, weaknesses, struggles, and triumphs that come from being vulnerable enough to truly love another person.  The musical’s protagonists, Jamie and Cathy, don’t have easy, musical-theater-version arcs and emotions.  They’re complex and difficult, full of contradictions and doubt, who don’t always say kind things or the right things, just like all human beings.  You know at the beginning of the show that this couple doesn’t “make it” but the deep heart of the piece is their trying.  There’s an everyday bravery in their individual effort to keep their relationship from failing, and sadness and confusion as it slips through their fingers.  Neither can find a path back to the other, and lifetime happiness eludes them, but Jason Robert Brown shows us their fight to make it work.  We see their glory and their pain, the most pure moments and also the ugliest moments.  We see their humanity.

This project has been a particular pleasure because while the show is on one hand sad and profound, it’s also very, very funny.  Deeply entrenched in this couples’ love for one another is humor, and a shared ability to make each other laugh.  As someone who has spent his career in the comedy world, I wanted to push the funny as far as we possibly could to give the audience the richest experience possible.

 

EBlume-eveniceEric Blume worked for over fifteen years at Comedy Central as a director, writer, and producer on original content featuring movie actors.  During his years at the network, he has directed over 100 pieces with the biggest actors in the business.  He now directs national commercials and television episodics with Hollywood talent, and has several projects in development at various studios.  He is thrilled to be directing theater again at the Weathervane.