“Almost Famous,” a new musical based on the Oscar-winning film, has lined up its creative team and cast.
The show, which will kick off the 2019-2020 Season at the Old Globe, will include Colin Donnell as rock star Russell Hammond, Casey Likes as teenage journalist William Miller, and Solea Pfeiffer as groupie Penny Lane. The show features a book and lyrics by Cameron Crowe, the movie’s writer and director. Crowe based the story on his own experience as a young writer for Rolling Stone and how he came-of-age while following a promising band that was on the verge of breaking into the big time.
Likes is a 17-year-old who will make his professional theater debut with the pivotal role, serving as a stage surrogate for Crowe.
The rest of the cast includes Drew Gehling as Jeff Bebe, Anika Larsen as Elaine Miller, Robert Colletti as Lester Bangs, Matt Bittner as Larry Fellows, Chad Burris as Vic Nunez, Gerard Canonico as Dick Roswell, Julia Cassandra as Estrella, Brandon Contreras as Silent Ed Vallencourt, Sam Gravitte as Dennis Hope, Katie Ladner as Sapphire, Storm Lever as Polexia, Emily Schultheis as Anita Miller, Daniel Sovich as Darryl, Libby Winters as Leslie, Matthew C. Yee as Ben Fong-Torres, Van Hughes as David Felton, and Danny Lindgren and Alisa Melendez as swings.
“Almost Famous” is directed by Tony Award nominee Jeremy Herrin and features original music and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize and two-time Tony Award winner Tom Kitt. Performances will run Sept. 13 through Oct. 20, with an official opening night on Sept. 27. The Globe is a key testing ground for shows with Broadway ambitions. Recent shows that have played in San Diego before making the trip to New York include “Bright Star,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”
Joining Kitt and the previously announced choreographer Lorin Latarro (choreography), are Tony Award winner Derek McLane (scenic design), two-time Tony Award winner David Zinn (costume design), six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Bryan Perri (music direction), AnnMarie Milazzo (vocal design), and Campbell Young Associates (wigs, hair & make-up design).
“Everyone at the Globe is hugely excited to welcome an uncommonly gifted company to Balboa Park for what we know will be the musical theater event of the season,” said Erna Finci Viterbi artistic director of the Old Globe Barry Edelstein. “Cameron Crowe, Tom Kitt, and Jeremy Herrin have assembled a group of actors blessed with extraordinary talent and incendiary energy, and together they will transform a beloved movie — which is also, of course, a local San Diego tale — into an unforgettable new work for the American stage. I am proud to have ‘Almost Famous’ at this theater, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with our audiences.”