Romeo (Damon Daunno) and Juliet (Kelly Barrett) in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of The Last Goodbye. (Photo by Sam Hough)
When The Last Goodbye blossomed on the stage of downtown Manhattan nightspot Joe’s Pub in April 2009, Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? knew director Michael Kimmel (who also conceived and adapted this show) and his collaborators were onto something good. The idea of pairing the lyrics and music of tragic pop star Jeff Buckley with Shakespeare’s story of tragic lovers, Romeo and Juliet, had an instant appeal.
And it took shape well onstage. My mind was blown by that early reading. It went through some changes, was re-presented in New York City this March, and now it’s taking a polished form at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
Many members of that original Joe’s Pub cast remain with the show. And that’s for good reason. They’re great.
Word of mouth
We haven’t yet seen this fully staged version, which opened on Saturday and runs through Aug. 20. But the word is very good. A friend of this blog who saw the Joe’s Pub version calls the Williamstown production “quite good,” with “much better integration of the bard’s language.”
Daily Variety reported last night that The Last Goodbye, New York director Michael Kimmel’s musical play pairing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the music of Jeff Buckley, is headed to the stage next season. The item also said there would be a developmental reading in NYC soon. What Variety didn’t tell you is when that reading will be and how you can attend. But Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? has those answers for you exclusively.
The reading will be held at 2 pm on Friday, March 12. The New York City venue hasn’t been named yet, though the creative team will have that finalized soon.
As for getting tickets, it’s a bit of a crap shoot, but the rules are simple: Just drop an email, including your full name, email address and telephone number to email@example.com by 12 am ET on March 1. That will put you in the running for a free pair of tickets.
I’ve been a huge fan of Jeff’s work for ages. After I saw the concert version of this show at Joe’s Pub last year, I wrote that it blew my mind and I couldn’t wait to see it develop. That time is fast approaching!