The Last Five Years

Jun 11, 2017

Brian Elerding is Executive Director of Lineage Performing Arts Center. We first met him through the Ensemble Shakespeare Theatre Company, which now performs at Descanso Gardens.

Elerding is one of the good guys. He’s creative, approachable, generous with his time, passionate, and philanthropic—and supports events and productions in the same vein. If you see his name connected to any event or production, we suggest you pay attention: it’s pretty much guaranteed to be inventive, distinctive, engaging, and fun.



That being said, only two more performances remain—only two more opportunities to attend—The Last Five Years at Lineage Performing Arts Center.

The Last Five Years is a musical written by Jason Robert Brown (2001), “inspired” by his failed marriage. It follows the relationship of Jamie, a rising novelist, and Cathy, a struggling actress. Jamie tells their story from beginning to end while Cathy tells her side of the story from end to beginning. Only during a wedding song in the middle do their timelines intersect.


Paul Siemens (Jamie) and Marisa Echeveria (Cathy).


Alisa Hayashida, writing for the South Pasadenan, reports that Directors Marisa Echeverria and Hilary Thomas have inserted a new twist, creating “Dancer Cathy” and “Dancer Jason” to “be” the missing significant other in the respective story lines. Hayashida initially thought the dancers would distract, but…

In fact, the choreography and the intensity that both Michelle Kolb and Christopher Jones bring to the movement, enhances every emotion and actually gives voice to the character not seen in the scene.¹




Hayashida continues:

The Jason Robert Brown songs are lush, emotional and funny. Here, the instruments are a piano and cello that work beautifully on stage with the actors.

Marisa Echeverria’s Cathy is sweet, funny and vulnerable, taking you in from her first glorious note. She has incredible range and control, giving her subtlety in her most emotional scenes and a soaring belt in her most angry and joyous moments.



Paul Siemens as Jamie is a revelation. He looks like your best friend’s good looking, schoolteacher husband and then he just knocks you out with his performance and brings you to your knees with his sensitivity and ultimately his rationalizations. There isn’t a human alive who has not felt and been a part of what these two bring to the stage. Their chemistry is perfection and my heart literally pounded in my chest as they sang “Next Ten Minutes.” 

If Hayashida’s critique has peaked your interest, we suggest you purchase your tickets now.



The Last Five Years
Saturday, June 17th @ 8p.m. & Sunday, June 18th @ 7 p.m.
Lineage Performing Arts, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena 91105
Tickets: $25, general; $20, student/senior
Purchase tickets here
For details, visit
Or event Facebook page
Ph: 1.626.844.7008


The Last Five Years
Music and Book by: Jason Robert Brown
Starring: Marisa Echeverria, Chris Jones, Michelle Kolb, and Paul Siemens.
Directed by: Marisa Echeverria and Hilary Thomas
Choreography by: Hilary Thomas
Produced by: Heather Connell



¹ “The Last Five Years” by Alisa Hayashida, South Pasadenan, June 7, 2017.






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