Shadowbox Players return for Yreka musical

Paul Boerger
Shadow Box Players Sandra Winslow and Aaron Clemens star in the Siskiyou Performing Arts Center production of the The Last Five Years. The one act musical was called “funny and uplifting” when it opened off Broadway.

Like the fabled Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Shadow Box Players, in collaboration with the Siskiyou Performing Arts Center, returns anew in a revival of the off Broadway musical The Last Five Years at the Dunlap Theater in Yreka June 3, 4, 10, 11 at 8 p.m. with a matinee June 5 at 2:30 p.m.

The Shadow Box Players was a household name in Mount Shasta for over 11 years, annually performing A Christmas Carol, in addition to many other productions that received warm receptions from audiences and sparkling reviews.

Four years ago, a production featuring a variety of Broadway dance and show tunes was abruptly cancelled due to copyright problems. Shadowbox sputtered and then almost died. Founder and Artistic Director Sandra Winslow said the opportunity to perform with the SPAC came in the nick of time.

“I was done emotionally,” Winslow said. “I was ready to close the bank account, but it was not to be.”

Winslow said the call from the SPAC breathed new life into the Players.

“We were asked if we had a show we wanted to do and an anonymous donor graciously funded half the cost of the production,” Winslow said.

The Last Five Years is a one-act musical that explores the five-year relationship between rising novelist Jamie Wellerstein, played by Aaron Clement, and struggling actress Cathy Hyatt, played by Winslow. The show uses a form of storytelling in which Cathy's story is told in reverse chronological order, beginning the show at the end of the marriage, and Jamie's is told in chronological order, starting just after the couple have first met. The characters do not directly interact except for a wedding song in the middle as their timelines intersect.

“Funny and uplifting, the show captures some of the most heartbreaking and universally felt moments of modern romance,” said a review when the show opened off Broadway.

The Last Five Years was written by Jason Robert Brown and is directed by Linda Neal with musical direction by Therese Condit. The Dunlop Theater is located at 315 Yreka Street in Yreka.

Tickets are $14 and are available at Village Books in Mount Shasta, Nature’s Kitchen in Yreka, Yreka Chamber of Commerce and Hairazor’s in Fort Jones. For more information call, 842-5442 or visit the website at www.siskiyouspac.org.