Posted on December 30, 2009 at 12:28 am
Here’s how I’m getting 2010 off to a great start:
Earlier this year, in May, East West Players presented a somewhat unconventional production of my musical, The Last Five Years. I say “unconventional” because East West Players is a Los Angeles-based company whose mission is to produce “outstanding works and educational programs that give voice to the Asian Pacific American experience.”
The Last Five Years is a musical about a Jewish writer and an Irish-Catholic actress in New York City. Those are the only two characters. It’s about as Asian as burritos. I figured East West was doing the show as some kind of gimmick.
It was no gimmick. What emerged was a heartfelt, powerful and honest production directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, and performed beautifully by two sensational young performers, Michael K. Lee and Jennifer Paz.
That production has been nominated for four Ovation awards, one for each of the stars, one for the director, and one for Best Musical.
Last month, I got an email asking if I would give permission to do a one-night-only “revival” of the production, as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. I said that not only would I give permission, but that I’d be honored if they’d allow me to accompany the performance myself, both as a way to be part of this fantastic company and as a way to thank East West Players for believing in the universality of my work.
And so, on JANUARY 9, 2010 at 8 pm, I will be sitting behind the piano at the DAVID HENRY HWANG THEATRE in Los Angeles, playing for Jennifer Paz and Michael K. Lee as they recreate their perfomances in THE LAST FIVE YEARS as a benefit for BC/EFA. We may offer some additional tunes after the show as well, you never know!
Will you come join us? The website for information and buying tickets is http://www.eastwestplayers.org/BroadwayCares/index.htm, or you can call (818) 358-2730. It’s a great cast, a great cause, and (oh, I can say it) a great show.
Here’s the blurb:
Emchaviel Productions presents
The Last 5 Years
A one-night-only event benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Michael K. Lee and Jennifer Paz
Jason Robert Brown at the piano
Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera
Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown (Parade, 13, Songs for a New World) joins 2009 Ovation nominees Michael K. Lee and Jennifer Paz in this one-night-only performance of his critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway gem The Last 5 Years. This poignant and profound musical follows Jamie and Cathy through the last five years of their relationship, from beginning to end, and from end to beginning. 2009 Ovation nominee Jon Lawrence Rivera returns to direct this unconventional telling of boy meets girl.
Proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised over $175 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. BC/EFA is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actor’s Fund – including The AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative. The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Dancer’s Resource and three supportive housing residences. BC/EFA also awards annual grants to over 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.
Saturday, January 9 at 8pm
East West Players
David Henry Hwang Theater
120 Judge John Aiso Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets $45, $55, $65
Click here for tickets or call: (818) 358-2730
Happy New Year to you all!
Jason Robert Brown