Premiere Revival: 27 October

Reruns: 4, 22 November

Written and Composed by: JASON ROBERT BROWN

Originally produced for the New York Stage by Arielle Tepper and Marty Bell

Originally produced by Northlight Theatre Chicago, IL

The first production of this musical was staged in our theatre in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the only complete, integral musical production in theatres that season. Choosing the title was quite challenging, and the process of preparation was demanding and complex, a fact best understood by the authors and protagonists of the musical. At first glance, this may seem like a smaller musical, but only in terms of the number of participants. Working on this performance once again proved to us that there are no simple or 'small' projects. The choice of the title was very complicated because we always prioritized attractiveness, listenability, and modernization, primarily for our audience. By choosing The Last Five Years, we have made a leap in our repertoire policy, introducing the form of modern musicals that have been current on the most prestigious world stages (Broadway and the West End) for over 10 years. Since the play was not performed enough during the pandemic, we are bringing it back to our stage, this time with a refreshed ensemble. The premiere of the revival is on 27 October, with reruns on 4 and 22 November.

And precisely because of all these unusual challenges, we decided to engage a proven and well-coordinated author’s team, led by the director, a guest from Croatia, Robert Boskovic, who has achieved highly successful productions on our stage (operettas The Merry Widow and Parisian Life, as well as the concert performance The Lights of the Stage). A conductor Vesna Souc, our regular collaborator in musical productions (the musical Les Misérables, the operas Dusk and Ana Frank, the concert performance Musical Journey, operettas The Merry Widow and Parisian Life), a set designer Vesna Rezic and choreographer Milica Cerovic (both from the author’s team of The Merry Widow and Parisian Life), a costume designer Snezana Pesic Rajic, Srdjan Jovanovic, a lightning designer, Dusan Arsikin, a sound designer, mapping, holograms and projections are done by Matej Bodrusic and Aleksandar Rapajic as well as many others taking part in this project author’s team, all have faced significant demands, but fulfilling them with outstanding quality.

From the old cast of actor-singers, Branislava Podrumac and Zarko Stepanov remain, while Dimitrije Cincar-Kostic is taking a break until next year. The ones who will join this already well-coordinated team in the revival this season are Tatjana Dimitrijevic, Irma Dragicevic, a guest from Croatia, and Arsenije Tubic. All of them are proven stars of our stage as they have participated in various musical productions at the Madlenianum. The ballet ensemble includes Jana Jovicevic, Jelena Nenadovic, Tara Tomasic, Tijana Ostojic, Veljko Randjic, Mateja Vicentijevic, Luka Stefanovic and Vladimir Sekulic, while in the orchestra are Dragana Andjelic Bunjac / Milivoje Veljic, Milica Grujic, Serin Radeski, Jasmina Vrbanic, Vojin Nenadovic, Mladen Lukic and Milos Branisavljevic / Nikola Djokic.

The Broadway hit, having its Hollywood screen adaptation in 2015, composed and written by Jason Robert Brown, portrays love, suffering, career pursuit, marriage and separation in a highly attractive musical and dramatic form. Significant musical and acting challenges are placed upon just two main actors, accompanied by a small ensemble of performers and a band consisting of only six musicians. What makes this story particularly appealing is the 'deconstruction of the love story,' as conductor Vesna Souc pointed out. “Already in the first contact with the piece, a clear and unbreakable connection began to emerge, as well as a specific conditioning of musical and textual content. It was obvious that the idea and emotion come from one person's pen, and that the story itself is autobiographical”. Vesna Souc has, in co-authorship with Jovana Jezdovic, also handled the translation and adaptation, which posed a particular challenge in harmonizing the music and text while strictly adhering to all the rules of the Serbian language, dramaturgical deadlines, finding rhymes, and so on. “By repeating certain verses throughout the musical, the author shows how the same words can express different emotions – anger and love, pain and hope. Therefore, preserving textual references, humor, and contemporary language in the adaptation are a challenge but also the thread that makes this work unique”, emphasizes Souc.


The composer Jason Robert Brown is a great musician and pianist, with a deep understanding of musical structure, a brilliant arranger (winner of the prestigious Tony Award for his musical The Bridges of Madison County), and all of this is clearly noticeable in the musical texture of this piece. The blends of rock and pop music, excellent jazz and blues, Latin rhythms and modern arrangements promise good entertainment along with the plot that will always provoke thoughtful reflection.

The Last Five Years is a musical that primarily talks about emotion. It portrays the lives of two people who experience a whirlwind of emotions in five years, through their meeting, engagement, marriage and breakup, all presented in two contrasting dramatic storylines. “This is definitely a dramatic musical and to me, a director, it was a great challenge to showcase all my knowledge and skills in directing acting, dance and spectacle. I must mention that for actors and singers, and even for dancers, where some have been given small acting tasks, this play is very challenging as it reveals everything that the performer carries within at that moment and everything they have learned in their career so far,' said director Boskovic.

The musical is performed in arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited:


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