Shakespeare Saturday: Shakespeare in Hair

Happy Saturday, readers! It’s time for your weekly dose of Shakespeare! I just finished a long day of rehearsal which (at last) included the band! Rehearsal piano is all well and good, but nothing beats adding the percussion and driving bass to Flesh Failures. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know… I’m currently working on my latest project: Hair.

Since I spent all day working very closely with the score I thought it might be fun to take a look at the use of Shakespeare within the show. There are two songs in particular that set Shakespeare to music and two particularly popular tragedies are represented. Yup – you probably guessed it – both Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet are used (to great effect) within the “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”.

“What a Piece of Work” sets Hamlet’s famous and words to music and (in context) is a powerful lament of man’s inability to learn from the past and incredible capability to make war. Every day is rehearsal I am struck by how relevant the message is even in today’s world. It’s a beautiful, simple arrangement that focuses on Shakespeare’s words above all. Because we all know that the Bard’s words are perfectly paired and conveyed. You’ll find the link below if you’d like to give it a listen!

The other song that makes use of Shakespeare utilizes both R&J as well as Hamlet. “Eyes Look Your Last” is a beautiful and haunting eulogy layered over the realization of death on the part of the soloist. It’s captivating and literally every time I listen to it I get chills and/or start crying. Link below!

See you tomorrow for the silliness!


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