[caption id="attachment_584" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The big ask! The big ask![/caption] The Last Five Years is its own small gem of a musical, 88 minutes of the highs and lows of a relationship between two artistic New Yorkers trying to build their lives and careers together. This work, with its clever lyrics, romantic love story, and wide array of musical styles has inspired fierce personal loyalty among its many fans. The New York Times wrote a piece last year about this phenomenon, asking their readers what drew them to the show. They told stories of blossoming love and deep regrets. Some attached fond memories of the musical to particular times in their lives. “Young people and older people can really relate to these characters. Characters that don’t end up together, people are taken with that. There is almost something more interesting about seeing the possibility of it,” said Adam Halpin, playing Jamie in Long Wharf Theatre’s production of the musical. Still others loved the inventive structure, appreciating the musical for daring to do something very different with their hallowed form. In the end, though, it’s the doomed romance of Cathy and Jamie’s story that connects with people in a deep and meaningful way. It causes them to connect with each other and with their own inner lives in interesting ways. Local high school students Alec Palmer and Jaime Terrazzino used Long Wharf Theatre as the backdrop for their own bit of romance. A few nights ago Palmer brought Terrazzino to the theatre, and asked her to go to prom with him, handing her a special show poster he made to commemorate the event, and a bundle of roses. They then shared their special evening on Twitter. “Got asked to prom at the @Long_Wharf by @ayyy_PALM almost expected @katieroseclarke to walk out and be in on it,” she wrote, referencing one of the stars of our upcoming production of The Last Five Years. Staff saw the exchange, was charmed by the teens’ excitement, and decided to offer the high school kids a couple of tickets to see the show to complete the package.  “I actually almost starting crying when the Long Wharf offered to set up a date for @ayyy_PALM and I to see #TheLastFiveYears,” she wrote. Perhaps this is the beginning of their own romantic story, albeit one with a happy ending. -- Steve Scarpa