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Tony-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) will provide the score, while Crowe will pen the book for the stage adaptation of his Oscar-winning film, which starred Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Frances McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Zooey Deschanel, among others. Crowe will also co-write the lyrics to the musical with Kitt.
Last week, Crowe seemingly teased the project when he posted a video of Kitt playing the piano.
— Cameron Crowe (@CameronCrowe) September 21, 2018
Almost Famous tells the coming-of-age story of a 15-year-old music enthusiast named William (played by Fugit), who scores a life-changing assignment at Rolling Stone. The movie was a fictional retelling of Crowe’s experience working for the famed magazine in the 1970s.
“I remember the first day of filming Almost Famous,” Crowe recalled to Rolling Stone about the news, saying the show will arrive in the coming months. “We were standing in downtown San Diego, shooting a scene with Phillip Seymour Hoffman on the very same street where I’d first met Lester Bangs. It felt surreal. It felt like a miracle. I called a friend of mine and said, ‘How did I get here?’ He laughed and said, ‘Enjoy it, this won’t happen again.’ The current miracle is that the feeling is coming alive again.”
Crowe won the Oscar for best screenplay, and Hudson and McDormand were both nominated in the best supporting actress category.
Lia Vollack on behalf of Columbia Live Stage, Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson serve as producers on the film’s musical counterpart. Jeremy Herrin — a Brit whose New York credits include Wolf Hall, Noises Off and People, Places and Things — will direct, with choreography by Lorin Latarro (Waitress)
The show will have its world premiere in fall 2019 in the “home city” where the story began, at San Diego’s Old Globe, beginning performances Sept. 13 ahead of an official Sept. 27 opening.
“The story has always been a personal one for me and it is a special thrill that we are coming to the Old Globe,” commented Crowe in a statement. “We used to live in an apartment on Sixth Street across from Balboa Park and the Old Globe. I first met Lester Bangs less than a mile away from where the Almost Famous musical will open. It all feels a bit like fun destiny to bring this story about loving music back to San Diego where it all began.”
Casting, design team and other news about the production will be announced soon. While there is no firm indication of New York plans at this stage, the track record of the creative and producing teams suggests the show is Broadway-bound.
The Old Globe has served as a tryout venue for a number of Broadway shows over the years, including The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder and Bright Star.
April 26, 11:30 a.m. Updated with details of San Diego premiere.
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