Jason Robert Brown's autobiographical two-hander musical The Last Five Years got a decent amount of attention when it premiered Off-Broadway in 2002, but not nearly as much as had his previous work, Parade. The show has had a healthy regional life since, however, and it reputation has grown. Second Stage will on March 7 bring back the musical telling of the rise and disintegration of a relationship in which one party enjoys professional success while the other sinks into embittered failure. Brown will direct. Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor will star. (The original leads were Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott.)
Playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman takes on a subject favored by writers over the years with his new work Clive. The inspiration of the world premiere is Bertolt Brecht's early play Baal, about a debauched poet who sails through life flouting bourgeoise values, but leaving behind him a series of spurned lovers and a murder. Here, Baal is a songwriter in 1990s NYC. Ethan Hawke both directs and stars. Also in the cast are Brooks Ashmanskas, Vincent D'Onofrio and Zoe Kazan. Previews begin at the New Group at Jan. 17.