Jordan Grossman heard the soundtrack to “The Last Five Years” last fall, and he couldn’t keep it to himself. As head of Churchill’s drama club, Grossman wanted senior classmates Katherine McPherson and Andrew Hartman to hear it.
Eight months later, as their graduation nears, Grossman, McPherson and Hartman are performing the show that so impressed them in a student-run production. McPherson and Hartman perform the two-person musical, directed by Grossman, at Churchill this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“For people who don’t like stuffy musicals, the music is amazing,” Grossman said. “It’s impressive that it’s eloquent without being stuffy.”
The story line for “The Last Five Years” begins at the end of Jamie’s and Cathy’s marriage from the perspective of Cathy (McPherson), who sings about why they have drifted apart. From Jamie’s (Hartman’s) perspective, the plot starts at the couple’s first date as he begins to fall from her. Midway through the play is the couple’s wedding.
“I’ve never really done anything like it before. It’s a cool concept,” said Hartman, who along with McPherson is among the most veteran performers in Churchill’s annual “Blast from the Past” music revue.
THE THREE SENIORS wanted to do a culminating project for Churchill’s Signature Academy of the Performing Arts, which was launched this year. “The Last Five Years” is an entirely student-run endeavor.“All that I’ve done at Churchill is perform – it’s been quite an experience being on the other side,” said Grossman.
Challenges included assembling an eight-member orchestra, obtaining auditorium time, and paying a $600 licensing fee. “We didn’t have time to hold a bake sale,” said Grossman, who was happily surprised at the generosity of some Churchill arts patrons who contributed the needed amount.
Performing in a two-person cast has challenges for McPherson and Hartman as well. “Just the amount of singing that you have to do,” said Hartman. “You can’t go offstage and drink water.”
“Maybe in the years to follow, it can be something that will become a tradition,” Grossman said.
“It’s an incredible show [and] it’s been a good experience,” said McPherson. “It’s kind of crunchtime for us now.”