Lamplighter Community Theatre is going to give it a second shot.
Last November, two local actors were going to play New Yorkers in their 20s who fall in and out of love over the course of “The Last Five Years.” However, the pandemic escalated and the musical was canceled.
Fast forward to 2021 with lighter state restrictions and Theater Director Karla Johnson said the musical — featuring actors Travis Chaput, who plays Jamie Wellerstein, and Nicole Rothleutner, who plays Cathy Haitt — is back on.
Lamplighter Community Theatre will open its doors to present “The Last Five Years” live at 7:30 p.m. May 13-15 at the Landmark Inn in Staples, with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 16.
The musical composed by Jason Robert Brown will be performed live to a limited audience and it also will be streamed online. Tickets are $12 to see it in person or $10 to view the play via a livestreaming show to be watched in the comfort of one’s home. Tickets are available at lctstaples.com. The show also will be streamed at 7:30 p.m. May 16.
The theater company will allow 75 people in the doors for each show, as it is abiding by Minnesota Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Audience members also must wear a mask and the seats will be spaced out to allow 6 feet for social distancing.
This is the first musical Johnson is directing for the Staples theater company. Johnson, who also is the Brainerd High School theater director, said she loved this musical when she was in high school and was obsessed with the music. She said “The Last Five Years” is almost entirely sung.
“There’s very little dialogue. There’s a few conversations where the characters are on their phone, but the majority of it is sung,” she said during an earlier interview on the musical. Emily-Rose Severson, one of Johnson’s former theater students, is the vocal director.
“The Last Five Years” quickly came to Chaput’s mind because the production is small, making it COVID-19 friendly where exposure of the virus is limited. The show is 90 minutes long and there will be no intermission, to make people’s time in the auditorium shorter.
Chaput also is the president of the Lamplighter Community Theatre Board of Directors.
Johnson said the play revolves around how the two characters, Jamie and Cathy, met, their relationship and the nuances between the couple.
“I really encourage people that enjoy musicals to come because I think they would like it because, like I said, it's almost all sung,” Johnson said during an earlier interview. “But also there's some very comical parts as well. Jamie especially has some very comical moments. His character is very confident and he's a very talented young author, and he becomes very popular at a young age and well renowned.
“Cathy is also very young and she is trying to get started on her acting career. And, unlike Jamie, Cathy has some challenges because of the competition of the actual acting career, so it's really interesting to see how those two characters grow. And sometimes they grow together but there are also moments where they grow apart.”
Chaput, who also is the creator and host of the podcast “I Can’t I Have Rehearsal,” said the most interesting part of the plot is it is told from two different points of view at two different times.
“So my point of view of the story is told from the beginning of the relationship and I basically sing my way to the end and Cathy does just the opposite,” Chaput said. “She's just found out that I had left and she sings all the way to the beginning of the relationship where she's just sharing her first kiss with Jamie.”
If you go
What: Lamplighter Community Theatre will open its doors to present the musical “The Last Five Years” live.
When: 7:30 p.m. May 13-15, with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 16.
Where: Landmark Inn in Staples.
How to watch: The musical composed by Jason Robert Brown will be performed live to a limited audience and it also will be streamed online. Tickets are $12 to see it in person or $10 to view the play via a livestreaming show to be watched in the comfort of one’s home. Tickets are available at lctstaples.com. The show also will be streamed at 7:30 p.m. May 16.