Getting My Jewish Culture On in 5779

by Allison Friedman / September 12, 2018

If you’re like me, and one of your Jewish New Year resolutions is to try out some new experiences across the city, then this article is for you.

If not, there are a lot of other really interesting articles here. Or you could go watch the new season of Shameless, because Lip.

Back to the article. One way I can make good on my resolution is to check out a few of the local Jewish theater performances in DC. Fortunately, the District is about to be filled with compelling theatrical works featuring Jewish themes and characters, including The Diary of Anne FrankA Shayna Maidel, and The Last 5 Years.

I chatted with Paige Austin, the music director (as well as pianist and composer) behind The Last 5 Years to learn a little bit more about this performance, and explore the influx in Jewish performances this season.

last 5 years

Characters Jamie and Cathy from The Last 5 Years at The Montgomery Playhouse

Allie: What is The Last 5 Years About?

Paige: This is an autobiographical play about the life of Jason Robert Brown. He is Jewish and used to date an Irish-Catholic girl.

The show has only two actors who play Jamie and Cathy, a young interfaith couple. They each tell their story of their 5 year relationship, but Cathy tells it from back to front, and Jamie tells it from front to back. Eventually, they meet in the middle and the continue to go through their separate timelines.

Allie: What makes it worth seeing?

Paige: The characters have very relatable problems. Cathy is the one putting more effort into the relationship, while Jamie is splitting his energy between a lot of different things. Relationships are work, and it’s nice to see a story where this is the case. I’d rather see a story of a couple struggling any day. It also covers gender politics.

Oh, and it’s only 90 minutes with no intermission.

Allie: Is it true that this play is also a movie?

Paige: Yes! For those who are fans of Anna Kendrick, there is a movie version of The Last 5 Years starring Anna and Jeremy Jordan.

Allie: Where can GatherDC readers get tickets?

Paige: You can get tickets on the Montgomery Playhouse website. Tickets are $22.

Characters Jamie and Cathy from The Last 5 Years at The Montgomery Playhouse

Learn more about The Last Five Years and other upcoming plays:


The Pianist of Willesden Lane

September 12 – September 30

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Family Theater

Tickets here


The Last Five Years

September 14 – September 23

The Randolph Road Theater

Tickets here


A Shayna Maidel

October 11 – October 28

Peace Mountain Theater Company at Congregation Har Shalom

Tickets here



September 15 – September 23

The Gaithersburg Arts Barn

Tickets here


The Diary of Anne Frank

September 28 – October 7

Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville Civic Center Park

Tickets here



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