By Adam Hetrick
15 Nov 2012
Michael Kimmel conceived and adapted the rock musical that takes a contemporary look at Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and sets it to the music and lyrics of late singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley. An earlier version premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2010.
Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) will direct the Jan. 27-Feb. 15, 2013, lab of The Last Goodbye. It will have choreography by Sonya Tayeh and musical direction by Kris Kukul.
Hal Luftig, Ruth and Steve Hendel, Alan and Barbara Marks, and Wade Turnbull are attached as producers.
Here's how Williamstown characterized the piece: "A legendary love. A transcendent artist. Shakespeare’s classic verse meets the driving, passionate rock of iconic singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley in the world premiere of The Last Goodbye... An ensemble of fourteen singer/actors bring to life the lyrical beauty of two great poets set in a world of youthful angst, grandeur, and grit. Fall for Romeo and Juliet all over again in this incendiary new musical."
Known for his wailing, emotional performnaces, Buckley gained national attention for his woeful cover of the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah." He recorded only one studio album, "Grace," which was critically acclaimed. His untimely death at the age of 30 in 1997, inspired numerous artists to pen songs inspired by the loss of such a promising musician. Since his death, demo recordings, live concert recordings and portions of his unfinished album "My Sweetheart the Drunk" have been released.