Cathy is played by the vibrant and powerfully voiced Carey McCray.

Love is romantic, exciting, frustrating, difficult and, perhaps, not possible to maintain. At least that’s the premise of the romantic musical, “The Last Five Years,” Lyric Rose Theatre’s rousing new production which opened last weekend to enthusiastic acclaim. Composed and written by Jason Robert Brown, it premiered at Chicago’s Northlight Theatre in 2001 and was then produced Off-Broadway in March 2002. Since that time, it has played at theaters all over the world, including a production at San Francisco’s esteemed American Conservatory Theater and a previous incarnation in Nevada County. A 2014 movie, with Anna Kendrick, was based on this musical.

The one act play is an emotionally powerful, personally revealing, funny and heart-breaking musical about two twenty-something New Yorkers who fall in and then out of love over a period of five years. The show’s unconventional structure features Cathy, a struggling and unconfident actress, recounting her version of the relationship from the end back to the beginning, while Jamie, an increasingly successful novelist, relates his story from start to finish. Each character sings his or her account through alternating solos — the two characters only communicate directly to each other once, at their nuptials in the middle of the show. Without being aware of this facet, the storyline can be confusing, but it actually works wonderfully.

Hindi Greenberg is so pleased that another exciting theater company has taken up residency in Nevada County and has now proffered its second successful production. The more, the merrier!