‘The Last Five Years’ showing Friday, Saturday in Fort Dodge

-Submitted photo
Collin Cllsbury (Jamie) and Cornelia Hayes (Cathy) star in the Bruce Perry-produced and directed musical “The Last Five Years,” which is a Jason Robert Brown original.

”The Last Five Years,” a musical by Jason Robert Brown, will come to life on a Fort Dodge stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Collin Ellsbury and Cornelia Hayes bring the characters of Jamie, a young successful author, and Cathy, a struggling Broadway actress, to life as each tells their version of their five-year relationship.

Cathy’s story begins on the day the marriage breaks up and moves backward through time. Jamie tells his version beginning with the first date and ending with the breakup.

Bruce Perry, of Sac City, is producing and directing the story featuring two unique views on a failed relationship.

“I’m ecstatic that we have been able to prepare the show for the public,” Ellsbury said. “Some may know it through the film, but I bet many are unfamiliar with this show. Even those who know the film likely don’t know much about the stage version. It’s a shame to me that more aren’t familiar with this musical, because the story, along with Jason Robert Brown’s music, communicates a beautiful message about the ups and downs of true love.”

Tickets for the performance are available at Rieman Music, 1024 Central Ave., or Grace Lutheran Church, 211 S. Ninth St. Admission for the event, located at Hawkeye Community Theatre, 521 N. 12th St., is $15 for adults and $10 for students.

Profits will benefit the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association and the Fort Dodge Choral Society scholarship fund. For more information, contact Bruce Perry at (515) 979- 5620.

Ellsbury is a recent graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High School, where he appeared in leading roles in “Pajama Game,” “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” and “Big Fish.”

He was a three-time honoree in the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Triple Threat Program and a participant in the Iowa All State Chorus. He has appeared in Broadway Dreams productions in Philadelphia. This fall, he will begin studies at Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois, where he is a scholarship student majoring in vocal performance and theater.

Hayes recently completed a month-long Broadway Artists Intensive Program in Palm Beach, Florida, and has spent a semester studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in Britain. This fall, she will return to Northwestern College in Orange City to complete her degrees in theater and business administration.

“This is a show I have always dreamed of being a part of,” Hayes said. “Exploring love, envy, joy, and pain in the script and characters has been so fulfilling, and I could not have asked for a more talented team of people to work with.”

Perry maintains an active schedule as pianist, conductor, and voice teacher. He is in his 28th year as music director at Grace Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge and will begin his 27th season as artistic director of Fort Dodge Choral Society.

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