The stage production is a two-actor story that reveals two sides of a love story from beginning to end. Their courtship, marriage and ultimate break-up are told with one character moving chronologically forward and the other moving backward. The timing of the two stories intersects but once, on their wedding day.
While the film retains the central focus on Cathy and Jamie, it will include a host of characters who figure into the New York City-set story.
Tony Award nominee Sherie Rene Scott, who originated the role of Cathy in the Off-Broadway production, makes a cameo, alongside her husband, record producer Kurt Deutsch. The couple, who founded Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records (also a producer on the film), are seen in a rehearsal room during one of Cathy's auditions.
Tony Award-winning Last Five Years writer Brown also makes a cameo as Cathy's accompanist during her audition. Theatre fans can also look out for an appearance by Jessica Molaskey (Parade, Last Five Years), who recorded the role of Cathy on the original Last Five Years demo recordings.
During Cathy's "Summer in Ohio" sequence, Betsy Wolfe – the star of the acclaimed 2012 Second Stage Off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years – portrays a stripper referenced in the song. In addition, Brad Simmons, who was the accompanist for Kendrick's outlandish take on "The Ladies Who Lunch" in the film musical "Camp," also makes an appearance.
"All these characters that you hear about in the songs are coming to life," Deutsch told Playbill.com. "We have such history with the piece. We want to add people who are connected."
He continued, "It's a New York movie. We want this to feel part of New York and part of our community. We want to include the people who made it all happen."
The team is currently working to coordinate schedules with Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz for a cameo. The actor originated the role of Jamie in the 2002 Off-Broadway production.
The Last Five Years premiered in Chicago in 2001 and opened Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre in March 2002. The Off-Broadway production won 2002 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics and was nominated for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Actress, Outstanding Orchestration and Outstanding Set Design.
The film is produced by Lucky Monkey Pictures and Sh-K-Boom Records, Lauren Versel, Kurt Deutsch, LaGravenese, Janet Brenner and Steve Norman.