“Almost Famous,” Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical film about an aspiring music journalist starring Billy Crudup and Kate Hudson, hit theaters nearly 20 years ago. Now, a musical based on Crowe’s Academy Award-winning screenplay is set to debut in the city where the story is based.
This September, “Almost Famous” will open the 2019-20 season at the Old Globe in San Diego, directed by Jeremy Herrin (“Noises Off”) and featuring a book by Crowe.
When Crowe was a teenager, he met Lester Bangs, a rock critic who is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the film. “As this experience started to be where we could actually open the play at the Old Globe, right across from where I used to live and within a one-mile radius from where I first met Lester and first fell in love with music,” Crowe said Friday, “It just felt like, O.K., this becomes a personal story that kind of goes back home to where it all began.”
The show will begin previews on Sept. 13, with an official opening date of Sept. 27, and will follow a 15-year-old writer named William Miller, who embeds with an up-and-coming rock band in 1973 for Rolling Stone.
Though much of the plot will likely follow that of the film, the musical will feature new songs by Tom Kitt, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010 for his score for the rock musical “Next to Normal.” The show will also incorporate classic songs. The film’s soundtrack included music by David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Elton John.
Although he wants to keep most of the music a surprise, Crowe, who said he had been asked by John whether his song “Tiny Dancer” would be used, said, “The answer, of course, is yes.”
The show will be produced by Lia Vollack on behalf of Columbia Live Stage, Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson. The cast has not yet been announced.