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The Old Globe

Musical Meshes Romeo & Juliet, Buckley Tunes

The Old Globe in San Diego has announced the complete cast and creative team for The Last Goodbye, a new musical fusing Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with the incendiary songs of the legendary singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley.

The Old Globe logoConceived and adapted by Michael Kimmel, the rock musical is directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). Choreography is by Emmy Award nominee Sonya Tayeh (So You Think You Can Dance), and orchestration, music direction, and arrangements are by Kris Kukul.

The Last Goodbye will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Sept. 20–Nov. 3, 2013. Preview performances run Sept. 20–Oct. 5. Opening night is Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m.

That light in yonder window is still the east and Juliet is still the sun, but the sound in her bedchamber is all new: the sweeping, emotional and extraordinarily beautiful songs of the late rock icon Jeff Buckley. This unique work of theater is a fusion of the classic and the modern, melding Shakespeare's tragedy, in its original text, with Buckley's music.

The Old Globe is producing this new version of The Last Goodbye by special arrangement with Hal Luftig, Ruth and Steve Hendel, The Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group, and Executive Producer Lauren Fitzgerald. An earlier version had its world premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2010, where it broke all box office records for Williamstown's Nikos Stage. The new version opening at the Old Globe reflects two years of developmental workshops under the direction of Alex Timbers.

“I am deeply proud and very excited to launch the Globe's 2013–14 Season, and my tenure as artistic director here, with The Last Goodbye,” Barry Edelstein said in a press release. “This daring, moving, and hugely entertaining work brings together many of the things that are central to the Globe's identity: a classic text, the vibrant energies of the musical theater, a sumptuous and splendid production, and a creative team of the first rank in the American Theater. It's a particular thrill to welcome Alex Timbers to the Globe, an artist whose work delights and surprises and whose sensibility renews the American musical in ways I both appreciate and admire. I know that audiences in San Diego and beyond will love this powerful and original show.”

Jay Armstrong Johnson will play Romeo. He was recently seen on Broadway in Hands on a Hardbody as well as with the companies of Catch Me If You Can and Diane Paulus' Tony Award-winning revival of Hair. He has appeared Off Broadway in MCC Theater's Wild Animals You Should Know and Prospect Theater Company's Working, for which he won a Drama Desk Award.

Talisa Friedman will appear as Juliet. She has been featured regionally in Ah, Wilderness! (Arena Stage), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (The Studio Theatre), The Bardy Bunch (New York International Fringe Festival), and the world premiere stage adaptation of Donnie Darko (American Repertory Theater). She is the recipient of the Jonathan Levy Prize and the David McCord Prize for Excellence in the Arts.

The cast of The Last Goodbye also features Hale Appleman (Mercutio), Stephen Bogardus (Friar Lawrence), Nancy Snow Carr (Lady Montague), Shannon Cochran (Lady Capulet), Brandon Gill (Benvolio), Bryan Scott Johnson (Montague), Eric Morris (Paris), Daniel Oreskes (Capulet), Tonye Patano (Nurse), Wallace Smith (Prince Escalus), and Jeremy Woodard (Tybalt), with James Brown III, Billy Bustamante, Drew Foster, Adam Perry, Steve Schepis, and Nik Walker (Ensemble), Megan Carmitchel (Offstage Singer), and Bradley Gibson (Swing).

The creative team includes Christopher Barreca (scenic design), Jennifer Moeller (costume design), Justin Townsend (lighting design), Ken Travis (sound design), Ian Hersey (text consultant), Kate Waters (fight director), Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum (associate fight director), Carrie Gardner, CSA (casting), and Peter Lawrence (stage manager).

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at -619-23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

August 21, 2013

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