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Musical aims to inspire students

WILLSBORO - The Willsboro Drama Club is sponsoring the presentation of "The Last Five Years"April 8-10 in the Willsboro Central School Auditorium. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m.

"The Last Five Years" is an intensely personal look at the relationship between a writer and an actress told from both points of view. Written by Jason Robert Brown, it opened off-Broadway in March 2002 to critical acclaim.

This production stars Antonette Knoedl as Cathy, an actress, and Tyler Nye as Jamie, a writer.

"You see the two of them at their absolute best and at their absolute worst, it just happens to be told basically 'vice versa' in an alternating chronology of the songs," said Nye. "I think that's one of the things that make this show so brilliant; you're working against each other theatrically."

Derrick Hopkins, the show's director, said he chose to present "The Last Five Years" so that students in his college-level theatre course at Willsboro Central School could have the opportunity to view and evaluate a show that employs variations on traditional storytelling. The show is the first of two that will be studied by his students in the coming weeks.

"What makes 'The Last Five Years' a hidden treasure is Jason Robert Brown's brilliant concept and score," said Hopkins.

The actors will be accompanied by a six-piece chamber orchestra comprised of violinist Jeris French, cellist Muriel Van Eerdewegh, cellist Laurel Rule, guitarist Shawn Parrotte, bassist Chris Dalnoder, and pianist Jennifer Moore, who leads the ensemble.

"Musically, the show offers a rich variety of musical settings that are so intimately bound to the text," said Moore. "As musicians, we find ways to 'play the words,' to give them energy and another layer of meaning. We experience what the characters experience through our collaboration. The chamber orchestration also reflects the very intimate and personal experiences of the two characters in the show."

"It is easily the most emotionally-charged score I have ever heard or had the pleasure of singing," Nye added.

Tickets will be sold at the door and are $10 general admission. Call 963-4456 ext. 400 or e-mail dhopkins@willsborocsd.org for further information.

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