The Last Five Years

Closed December 15th

The Last Five Years is a musical written by Jason Robert Brown. It premiered at Chicago's Northlight Theatre in 2001 and was then produced Off-Broadway in March of 2002. Since then it has had numerous productions both in the United States and internationally, as well as having been made into a motion picture starring Anna Kendrick.

The story explores a five-year relationship between Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, and Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress. The show uses a form of storytelling in which Cathy's story is told in reverse chronological order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage), and Jamie's is told in chronological order (starting just after the couple have first met). The characters do not directly interact except for a wedding song in the middle as their timelines intersect.

Directed by Otto Layman, with set design by Layman and Jonathan Mitchell (who also will design the lighting), The Last Five Years featured two couples, singing on alternate days: Josie Gillingham and Carter Beaudette, Daniel Sabraw and Logan Fleming.  On the final performance, the couples switched, with Sabraw singing with Gillingham, and Beaudette with Fleming.  Performances were December 13 at 7pm (Carter / Gillingham), December 14 at 7pm (Sabraw/Fleming), and December 15 at 3pm (Beaudette/Fleming) and 7pm (Sabraw/Gillingham).



Closed November 11th


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Welcome to the 2018-2019 Season at Santa Barbara High School, where we continue our quest to be THE Musical Theatre destination for students, designers, and audiences alike…starting in 2012 when we produced Into the Woods, beginning a string of 15 consecutive musical productions, and an evolution in our program that led to a partnership with Dr. Jon Nathan and the UCSB Jazz Ensemble program.  Most schools have a traditional approach to theatre education and performance, producing a play in the Fall and a musical in the Spring.  Here at SBHS, we do things a little differently, and this year I think we have upped our game—for the first time we will be doing three full-scale musicals (slotting one in the usually empty December slot), as well as the 19th iteration of the wildly popular student-produced, directed, and performed Broadway revue, MUSIC OF THE NIGHT.  In addition, we are making a radical change to our ticket pricing structure and ticket purchasing, offering a season subscription to all three mainstage productions at a bargain price, and throwing in MOTN to boot!  You can go to the Ticket Sales tab on the website to see details, but I think this change will generate more audience able to see incredible work at an extremely affordable price, especially for students, and parents who return night after night to support the actors and technicians in their families.  Our goal, after all, is not to profit, but to be seen and heard.

For those looking ahead, after our current production of IN THE HEIGHTS we continue in December, when we are proud to offer up THE LAST FIVE YEARS, Jason Robert Brown’s intimate window into a couple’s doomed marriage. Cathy, a struggling actress, and Jamie, a budding novelist on the brink of wild success, are 20-somethings in New York who meet, fall in love, marry, and divorce over the span of five years. Cathy tells the story from the end of their marriage; Jamie begins from when they first meet. As the musical unfolds, Cathy moves backward in time to the beginning of the relationship as Jamie moves toward the end; they meet only once, in the middle, at their wedding. Since its Off-Broadway premiere in 2002, Brown’s funny, poignant, and devastatingly honest two-person production has enraptured audiences around the world with its spellbinding and emotional score and libretto.  For our production, we will be casting two separate couples, who will each perform during the run, and then switch partners on the closing Saturday.  Directed by Otto Layman, and musical and vocal direction by our outstanding staff.  

Finally, we round out the year with the Nation High School Premiere of the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder an uproarious, hilarious musical comedy, with the book and lyrics by Robert L. Freeman, and the music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak. It is based on the 1907 novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman. The show opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre November 17, 2013, running until January 17, 2016. The Broadway production won four Tonys at the 68th Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Costume Design.

Set in London in 1907, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder centers on Monty Navarro, a penniless clerk who is informed after the death of his mother that he is ninth in line to inherit the earldom of Highhurst, controlled by the wealthy D’Ysquith banking family. After the imperious ruling Lord dismisses Monty’s claim of being a relative, the eight D’Ysquiths ahead of young Mr. Navarro begin dying in natural and unnatural ways. Meanwhile, Monty is trying to woo money-minded Sibella Hallward —until he finds himself drawn to young Phoebe D’Ysquith. How will all these convoluted storylines come together?

Please join us for another amazing year with the young, gifted and bold actors at SBHS, and take the opportunity to see these performers before they are on Broadway (I’m not kidding or exaggerating—in the spring 2002 grad Dana Costello (nee Musgrove), who has performed in both Jekyll and Hyde and Finding Neverland on Broadway returns to the New York stage in the World Premiere of the musical DAVE, currently in its pre-Broadway production at the Arena Stage in Washington D.C.).  I hope you consider a season subscription, ensuring your seat at all of these amazing shows at a ridiculously low price! 

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Past Santa Barbara High School Productions