Jeff Buckley and "The Last Goodbye."

Almost 10 years ago a teacher/musician friend gave me a copy of Jeff Buckley’s album Grace and very seriously said the following: “Listen to this entire cd and you will agree with me that it is one of the best albums ever.  And, if you don’t agree, you’re just wrong.”  Okay…so I listened to the album and I liked it – falsetto voice and all.  And I listened to it again – and I liked it more.  And damn it, I fell in love with that cd and agree it is a definite deserted island album.
A couple of Sundays ago I saw an article in the NYT about a production being premiered at the Williamstown Theater Festival which sounded right up my alley – a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with contemporary sets and costumes paired with Jeff Buckley’s music – wow!  Thank goodness that Christy over at Friday Puppy posted her impressions of the show, because, in all honesty, the Sunday morning I read the article followed a Saturday night filled with tequila and I may have temporarily forgotten about the show.  Hey – I was on vacation, give me a break.
After reading Christy’s post, I immediately went online to get a ticket, which was a good thing because the availability was extremely limited. My only complaint about the online buying experience was that it wasn’t possible to purchase a single ticket – when I requested one ticket, best available, none were offered.  But, anyway, I bought a couple of tickets and headed over this afternoon for a 3pm curtain.  I don’t know if you’ve been to Williamstown, but it is really lovely – the perfect place for an afternoon or for a $200,000+ Bachelor’s Degree.  I was a little disheartened to see some trees with orange leaves (gasp!), but generally enjoyed the drive, which I did in a loop going East through Troy/Petersburg and West through New Ashford/Averill Park.
The show was awesome!  The set was simple, but effective, the choreography was mostly cool (a little too jerky for my tastes in later scenes), the singing and music were right on, and the performers, with one exception, in my opinion, were terrific.  The woman who played Juliet (Kelli Barrett) had a super voice which I particularly enjoyed when she sang “strongly.” The other female standout, in a positive way, was Jo Lambert who played Mercutio and had one scene that was intensely powerful.  My only criticism of the cast (and what do I know?) was Chloe Webb in the role of the nurse – her wardrobe, voice and performance just didn’t work for me.  The male actors were all wonderful and did a tremendous job singing Jeff Buckley’s songs, which really can’t be too easy – well done, guys.  The production had me smiling  (and close to tears, as Amanda said, music is more than just lyrics and notes) and I really hope the show eventually gets seen by a much larger audience.  The shows runs until August 20th and if there are any tickets still available, you should definitely try to get yourself there.

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