Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shakespeare at Large

Pinch me ‘cause I must be dreaming.

The Williamstown Theater Festival has made the awesomely bizarre decision to stage a production of Romeo and Juliet using the songs of Jeff Buckley. It’s called The Last Goodbye, the title of Jeff’s song from his 1994 album, Grace. I know that album well because it’s all I listened to for days on end after Jeff drowned in 1997.

My friends will no doubt remember The Great Jeff Buckley Depression. I was supposed to see him perform, but the timing was terrible; the concert was only a few nights before a big graduate school exam, and I decided to stay home so I could prepare notes on John Milton for my study group. Because I am a big nerd.

I’ll go to the next one, I thought. After the exams are over. It’ll be like a reward.

But then he drowned. At night, in the Mississippi. This was not just a missed concert, but symbolic of how, sometimes, it’s crucial to put work aside and just enjoy.

So this time I’m not going to mess up. I’ve already got my tickets for Williamstown in hand.

Jeff, babe, it’s not the same thing, I know. But I’ve learned my lesson, I have. I’d also like to think that you're looking down from that special place where folk rockers go in Heaven, feeling really, really pleased to be sharing the stage with William.


  1. FINALLY some closure on TGJBD of 1997! You deserve that much, friend.

  2. Now the Big Question is: at what point in the production do they do THE song from that album, and one of the greatest tunes ever written -- "Hallelujah"? What do you think?