'Almost Famous' Musical Unveils Cast, Creative Team

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'Almost Famous'

Solea Pfeiffer and Emily Schultheis will take on the roles originated by Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel in Cameron Crowe's 2000 film, with newcomer Casey Likes as the director's autobiographical stand-in.

Ahead of its world premiere this fall at The Old Globe in San Diego, the musical adaptation of Cameron Crowe's iconic 2000 film Almost Famous on Thursday announced its cast and creative team. 

Featuring a book and lyrics by Crowe, the production will be directed by Tony Award nominee Jeremy Herrin (Noises Off; People, Places and Things), with original music and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal).

Choreography is by Lorin Latarro, who worked on The Heart of Rock & Roll at The Old Globe last year, and the Broadway hit Waitress.

Casey Likes takes on the central role of William Miller, the character inspired by Crowe's experience as a rookie music journalist, with Anika Larsen as his mother Elaine. Those roles were played in the movie by Patrick Fugit and Frances McDormand, respectively. Solea Pfeiffer takes on Penny Lane, the part made famous by Kate Hudson.

Colin Donnell (Wicked, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!) will play Russell Hammond, with Emily Schultheis as William's older sister Anita Miller, the role played by Zooey Deschanel in the film. Gerard Canonico, Drew Gehling, Robert Colletti, Sam Gravitte, Matt Bittner, Julia Cassandra, Katie Ladner, Storm Lever and Libby Winters round out the key cast.

Set in San Diego in 1973, the story follows an idealistic 15-year-old aspiring rock journalist as he takes an assignment for Rolling Stone magazine and ventures out on the road with an up-and-coming band. The film earned Crowe a 2001 Academy Award for best screenplay. 

Almost Famous will begin preview performances Sept. 13 ahead of its official opening night on Sept. 27. The musical is set to run through Oct. 20. While no Broadway plans have been announced, the San Diego premiere is being viewed as an unofficial tryout, with the top-tier creative team giving a clear indication of the show's New York ambitions.

That team includes set design by Derek McLane, costumes by David Zinn, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Peter Hylenski and orchestrations and arrangements by Kitt, who also serves in that capacity on the Broadway-bound Alanis Morissette musical, Jagged Little Pill.

Lead commercial producers attached to the San Diego run are Lia Vollack, Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson.

Tickets for Almost Famous go on sale Friday and can be purchased via the theater box office.