New Britain High's final musical of the year - 'The Last Five Years' - will be live outdoors

Published on Friday, 21 May 2021 09:36
Written by Ciara Hooks


NEW BRITAIN – New Britain High School will be performing “The Last Five Years” as its final musical of the school year.

The performance will take place Friday, May 28. Guests can pull up to the New Britain High School parking lot at 110 Mill Street at 7 p.m. to enjoy the show.

“There is a side parking lot on the side of the auditorium where we’re going to set up some of our risers to build sort of a small stage,” said Jason Nicolo Ferrandino, director of the musical and choral director at New Britain High School. “We’re encouraging people to bring their own lawn chairs and set up wherever they like; we will have some chairs available if needed.”

The Last Five Years is a small-scale musical written and composed by Jason Robert Brown. The show tells the story of the relationship between Cathy Hiatt and Jamie Wellerstein through five years of their life, spanning from their first date to the end of their marriage.

“The twist to the story, or at least the way the story is told, is that Jamie’s story goes in chronological order from the beginning to the end throughout the show. But Cathy’s story starts at the very end of the relationship and each progressive scene she goes backwards in time until they’re in the finale and she is at their first meeting,” Ferrandino said. “So, the songs go back and forth and sort of weave the story as they go.”

This inspired a major motion picture starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.

There is no dialogue, as the entire story is told through song.

“One way I described it to the kids is, as opposed to some shows like this, they are thought of as a home movie of their relationship; it’s really more of flipping through a photo album. Each song is like a specific moment and she just happens to be looking at her moments in the reverse order,” Ferrandino said.

The high school production features students Margarita Cartagena, as Catherine Hiatt, and Ethan Roy, as Jamie Wellerstein. Technical direction is done by Robert Smedley and movement by Christine Kuzia.

“These kids are doing a fantastic job; it is not an easy show, musically or dramatically,” Ferrandino said. “From my point of view, it is one of the most difficult scores I’ve played as a pianist; it’s very tricky and constant.”

Ferrandino says they have been rehearsing for the show a couple times a week since the closing of their last production “Nunsense.”

“It’s been fairly straight forward putting this one together because it is such a small intimate group, just the two singers and myself at the piano, so it’s not too much worry about. We’ve been able to rehearse completely in person in the big choral room – no problems there,” Ferrandino said. “And because we’re performing this outside here at the high school, and the nature of the show – they’re in their own little world in their timelines – they’re never closer than 12 feet when they’re singing so we’re going to be able to perform without masks, which really helps them show the emoting, acting and getting across to the audience, so we’re excited about that.”

Tickets are limited due to safety regulations, so all tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be available the night of the performance. All participants must also follow all CDC and New Britain Health Department guidelines while in attendance. Tickets are $10. For more information or to buy tickets call 860-225-6300 x1632 or visit

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 21 May 2021 09:36. Updated: Friday, 21 May 2021 09:39.