Show History



The Last Five Years was written during the two years that Jason Robert Brown toured the country as conductor and musical director of the national tour of another one of his shows, Parade. Distraught with the state of musical theatre style at the time, he wanted to create an emotionally intimate, musically complex piece. Brown's musical style, although it only uses a select number of instruments, draws on a significant number of genres, from classical to rock to klezmer.


The Last Five Years, a sung-through musical written by Jason Robert Brown, premiered at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie, Illinois, in 2001. The production ran for two months and starred Lauren Kennedy and Norbert Leo Butz. The show reportedly sold more tickets in a single weekend than any other production at that theatre before.

With new producers, the musical later opened at the Minetta Lane Theatre Off-Broadway on March 3, 2002, closing on May 5 of the same year. Sherie Rene Scott stepped in to star opposite Butz, as Kennedy had taken off for a prior commitment. Since its closing, The Last Five Years has been produced across hundreds of American cities, in addition to Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, France and the Philippines. The musical's regional popularity spurned an Off-Broadway revival at the Second Stage Theatre in 2013. It was directed by Jason Robert Brown, himself.

Cultural Influence

  • The Last Five Years has been translated into a handful of other languages, including Dutch, Japanese, German and Italian.
  • The musical was named one of TIME Magazine's top ten shows of 2001.
  • A film adaptation of the stage musical was released in 2014, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.