“The Last Goodbye,” a contemporary retelling of Romeo and Juliet set to the music of Jeff Buckley, is currently in development as a stage musical. Alex Timbers, the director of “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” who is considered “one of Broadway’s hottest young properties,” is to be the director, The Guardian newspaper reported. Timbers’ involvement is causing many to speculate that the project may eventually make its way to Broadway.
“The Last Goodbye” will feature many of the late singer-songwriter’s “hits” such as “Lover you Should’ve Come Over” and “Eternal Life” and will begin rehearsals in New York City in January. It is in the casting process now.
The project was initially conceived of in 2010 by Michael Kimmel, who directed a version of it at the Williamstown Theater Festival that year. According to the program guide for that festival, the idea of the “The Last Goodbye” is “an ensemble of 14 singer/actors bring to life the lyrical beauty of two great poets set in a world of youthful angst, grandeur and grit.”
Jeff Buckley, of course, was an up and coming New York City-based singer-songwriter best known for a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (before that song had become such a misunderstood cliché) and for his critically acclaimed debut album “Grace,” who died of drowning while swimming in the Memphis harbor in 1997, at age 30. His father, Tim Buckley, was an acclaimed singer-songwriter of the 1970s who died in 1975 at age 28 of a drug overdose.
This new Jeff Buckley-related project is not be confused with “Greetings from Tim Buckley,” a film centered around a 1991 tribute concert to Tim Buckley which the younger Buckley was involved in, starring Gossip Girl‘s Penn Badgley as Jeff. Nor is it to be confused with the as-yet-untitled more traditional Jeff Buckley biopic also in the works, which most recently was rumored to star Reeve Carvey of “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.”
Hallelujah! Jeff Buckley musical in development [The Guardian]