‘Almost Famous’, now a musical, will open on Broadway this fall
“Almost Famous,” Cameron Crowe’s rock ‘n’ roll story, will make its pandemic-delayed trip to Broadway this fall.
A musical adaptation of the beloved 2000 film, the show had its first run in San Diego in 2019, and its creative team then continued to work on the project while theaters were closed by the coronavirus pandemic and Broadway got underway. to bounce back.
The musical is now set to begin previews on September 13 and open October 11 at an unspecified Shubert Theater. It’s the 11th show to announce performance dates for the new Broadway season, and at least two dozen more are swirling around.
“Almost Famous” is Crowe’s semi-autobiographical story, set in 1973, about a teenage music journalist and his relationships with the band members he chronicles as well as the young women who follow him. Crowe wrote and directed the film and won an Academy Award for screenplay; he wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics to the musical.
In an interview, Crowe described himself as “exuberant” about the Broadway transfer, saying, “I’m willing to share it with people.”
“Every time I see the play, I’m 15,” he added.
Crowe said he grew up seeing Shakespeare perform at the Old Globe in San Diego, where the musical began its life, and found working in the theater more “personal and moving” than working in the Film Industry. And, he said, “something about telling a story about the love of music attracts music lovers.”
The Old Globe production garnered good reviews, particularly from critic Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times, who called it “an unqualified winner”.
The score is mostly original, with music by Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal”) who collaborated on lyrics with Crowe; the musical also features a number of pop songs, including Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and Joni Mitchell’s “River.”
The show is directed by Jeremy Herrin (“Wolf Hall”) and choreographed by Sarah O’Gleby.
The main producers are Lia Vollack, a former Sony executive who is also the main producer of “MJ”, the Michael Jackson musical, and the Michael Cassel Group, an Australian production company which has become increasingly active in Broadway. The issue is capitalized up to $18 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The role of the young journalist, named William Miller, will be played by Casey Likes, who also played the role at the Old Globe in San Diego; this will be his Broadway debut. (“He still looks young,” Crowe promised.)
Chris Wood, best known for CW television shows including “Supergirl” and “The Vampire Diaries,” will make his Broadway debut as the band’s lead guitarist, Russell Hammond (played by Billy Crudup in the film). Anika Larsen (“Beautiful”) will play the role of the protagonist’s mother, Elaine (played by Frances McDormand in the film), and Solea Pfeiffer (“Hamilton”) will play Penny Lane, the character of Kate Hudson in the film. The cast will also include Drew Gehling (“Waitress”) as the band’s lead singer, Jeff Bebe.