Jeff Buckley’s music may be joining the Who and Green Day on Broadway thanks to a new show that fuses his songs with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The Last Goodbye was first conceived three years ago by Michael Kimmel, a New York director and theater professor who started up the project when he noticed how uncannily well Buckley’s lyrics accented the Bard’s language. With approval from Buckley’s estate, Kimmel created a musical using “New Year’s Prayer,” “So Real” and “Eternal Life” and other songs from the singersongwriter’s catalog to further the classic play’s tale of illfated love.
“Jeff’s music takes this idea of young emotion and passion to an entirely different level that we haven’t seen with the play before,” Kimmel explains. “What I love about the show is that it’s this great merging of a really strong writer and an amazing musician.” After wellreceived concert readings in New York last spring, Kimmel and his creative team are finalizing plans for a regional staging later this year. Interest from commercial producers has sparked hope for a Broadway transfer during the 2010-2011 season, but Kimmel isn’t planning too far ahead: “All the attention the piece has gotten has been really exciting, but for us, it’s about getting it right.”