Tag Archives: William Shakespeare

Hello again: The Last Goodbye

Jeff Buckley Meets William Shakespeare

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.”

Audience reaction was good:

Check out the first review

The first detailed review we’ve found, on the blog This Is Somewhere, is also quite positive.

For more about this show, and details on how you can see it, click through to the jump. Continue reading

Celebrate the 4th of July with Stew and Dan Zanes

Dan Zanes.

Stew, of The Negro Problem and Passing Strange, has a lot on his plate these days, what with a new Shakespeare score being performed in Connecticut right now, a couple of musicals in the pipeline and some concert appearances. All of that is in the news section on the left side of Stew’s homepage.

Heidi Rodewald and Stew. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

For all the Stew completists who read Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?, tomorrow is the most important upcoming date. Stew is one of the “special guests” at the FREE Dan Zanes Jam & Jubilee, The Battery 4th of July Concert and Family Festival, presented by River To River in Battery Park.

Gates open at 1 p.m., with festivities kicking off an hour later. You can spend the day in Battery Park, dancing to the rhythms of La Cumbiamba eNeYe and singing along to Dan’s brand of Broadway classics! In addition to Stew, guests include spoken word poet Caridad De La Luz (La Bruja) and Joan Osborn.

You can even participate in the fun, as musicians of all ages are invited to perform 76 Trombones in a spectacular 4th of July Parade! You can download the sheet music and get detailed information on the festival website.

It should be a blast!

Victor Williams is Othello in the Shakespeare on the Sound production, with songs and music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t been to Connecticut to see Othello, directed by Joanna Settle with songs and music by Stew and his longtime partner Heidi Rodewald, there’s still time.

Shakespeare on the Sound‘s Othello is performed outdoors at 7:30 nightly (except Monday) through July 11 at Baldwin Park, 100 Arch St., in Greenwich, Conn. While Stew and Heidi don’t perform live, you’ll get the full impact of their work on the recorded backing tracks and live singing by the actors. Last year Stew scored A Midsummer Night’s Dream for SotS, and is was fantastic.

Seating is on the ground around the stage, so be sure to bring blankets or low chairs (nothing that would block the view of people seated behind you) for comfort. Or if you want to go first class, you can fork over a $50 donation for a reserved seat in on of SotS’s chairs.

And why not arrive early and turn it into dinner theater! It’s a great spot for a picnic before the show. There is a concession stand selling decent food and beverages, including wine and beer.

Admission is by donation. You could walk through the gate without paying a dime, but that just wouldn’t be right. Show your support for Stew and Heidi by dropping a donation at the gate. $20 per person is suggested, but more or less is just fine.

nically free, but donations are expected at the gae.

The park is right on the Long Island Sound and within walking distance of the Metro-North station. It’s a beautiful setting, easily accessible from NYC. Click here for transit info.

Dead Poets Society: Jeff Buckley meets William Shakespeare

Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley, the tragic rocker who lost his life in the Memphis River almost a dozen years ago (May 29, 1997) is finally getting a turn onstage in a theatrical mashup of his music and William Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet.

The result is The Last Goodbye, an adaptation by NYC-based director Michael Kimmel. It will get three nights of concert readings at Joe’s Pub in New York City: May 11, 25 and June 1.

The cast comprises 14 young actors, two of whom I know — the fabulous Jo Lampert, who is artistic relations associate at Joe’s Pub, and the fantastic Ariela Morgenstern, a San Francisco native who made her off-Broadway debut last year in the acclaimed production of Adding Machine.

Buckley’s timeless, haunting music should work spectacularly well with Shakespeare’s classic story.