“ A L M O S T F A M O U S ”
THE NEW MUSICAL BASED ON THE ICONIC FILM IS COMING TO BROADWAY
BEGINS PREVIEWS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
TO OPEN ON BROADWAY TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 AT A SHUBERT THEATER (TBA)
BOOK & LYRICS
BY ACADEMY & GRAMMY AWARD® WINNER CAMERON CROWE
MUSIC & LYRICS BY
TONY, GRAMMY, EMMY & PULITZER PRIZE AWARD® WINNER TOM KITT
TONY & OLIVIER AWARD® NOMINEE JEREMY HERRIN
New York, NY (June 2, 2022) – Producers Lia Vollack and Michael Cassel Group announced today that Almost Famous, the new musical with book and lyrics by Academy Award® and Grammy Award® winner Cameron Crowe, based on his iconic film, will open on Broadway this fall. Directed by Tony Award® and Olivier Award® nominee Jeremy Herrin, featuring original music and lyrics by Tony, Grammy, Emmy and Pulitzer Prize Award® winner Tom Kitt, and choreography by Sarah O’Gleby, the production will begin previews on Tuesday, September 13 ahead of an official opening on Tuesday, October 11 at a Shubert theater to be announced.
The production will star Chris Wood, Tony Award® nominee Anika Larsen, Solea Pfeiffer, Drew Gehling and introducing Casey Likes. The company will also include Rob Colletti, Matt Bittner, Chad Burris, Gerard Canonico, Julia Cassandra, Brandon Contreras, Jakeim Hart, Van Hughes, Jana Djenne Jackson, Katie Ladner, Danny Lindgren, Erica Mansfield, Alisa Melendez, Emily Schultheis, Daniel Sovich, Libby Winters, and Matthew C. Yee.
Sony Masterworks Broadway will release the Original Broadway Cast Album of Almost Famous this fall. Listen to the first track "Everybody's Coming Together" HERE and stay tuned for further song releases in the coming months.
In a statement, Cameron Crowe said, “Broadway fans and rock fans have so much in common. We obsess over the music, we pore over every possible recording we find, and we treasure those moments when an artist stands on a stage, opens their heart in that most personal way, and creates real magic. Suddenly everything seems possible. Almost Famous has always been about the power of that connection: hearing a piece of music for the first time, looking into a person’s eyes and feeling the electricity, finding your tribe. The line ‘it’s all happening’ has always been so key to the show, and now that we’re heading to Broadway, it’s finally come true. It actually is… all happening.”
The year is 1973 and it’s all happening. Led Zeppelin is king, Richard Nixon is President, and idealistic 15-year-old William Miller is an aspiring music journalist. When Rolling Stone magazine hires him to go on the road with an up-and-coming band, William is thrust into the rock-and-roll circus, where his love of music, his longing for friendship, and his integrity as a writer collide. Almost Famous is about a young man finding his place in the world and the indelible characters he meets along the way. It’s a celebration of community, family, fandom and the power of music.
The design team for Almost Famous will include two-time Tony Award® and Emmy Award® winner Derek McLane (scenic design), two-time Tony Award® winner David Zinn (costume design), six-time Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (lighting design), Tony Award® winner Peter Hylenski (sound design), Tom Kitt (orchestrations & arrangements), Bryan Perri (music direction), AnnMarie Milazzo (vocal design), Luc Verschueren (hair, wig, and makeup designer), Lorenzo Pisoni (physical movement coordinator), Jim Carnahan (casting director), Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jillian Robbins, Devin Keudell (executive producers), and Bespoke Theatricals (general management). Due to scheduling conflicts, Lorin Latarro has departed the production and will be credited with Additional Choreography for her remaining contributions.
When Almost Famous had its world premiere in Crowe’s hometown of San Diego at The Old Globe where it set the record for the highest-grossing show in the theater’s 90-year history, Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times called the production, “A shimmering and mesmerizing musical that is destined to conquer Broadway.
Cameron Crowe’s coming-of-age rock tale burns bright as Jeremy Herrin balances the thrill of performing in a rock band with the backstage rivalries and romances. Tom Kitt’s score, gorgeously sung by the top-notch cast, weaves an entrancing tapestry of sound that floats on a cloud of groovy rock.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune enthused, “Capturing a shining moment of youth, love, and music Almost Famous has one quality in particular that can boost a musical above the rest: an unabashedly big heart. Like the movie, it’s brimming with memorably off-kilter characters and unalloyed joy."
Variety raved “A love letter to music… Almost Famous feels uniquely real. Which it is, because Crowe lived it, and perfected it by revisiting the memories countless times since.”
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Chris Wood (Russell Hammond) is an American actor and writer. He is best known for his portrayal of Mon-El in the hit CW series “Supergirl”. Prior to this, Wood led the CW's limited event series “Containment” which earned him a spot on Variety’s 2015 “10 TV Actors to Watch” list. Wood first came to notoriety for his villainous turn as Kai Parker on the hit CW series “The Vampire Diaries”. His additional credits include PBS' “Mercy Street”, the CW's “The Carrie Diaries” and HBO’s Emmy Award-winning series “Girls”. Wood is also the voice of He-Man/Prince Adam in the Netflix animated series “Masters of the Universe: Revelation”.
Anika Larsen (Elaine Miller) has performed on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Avenue Q, Xanadu, All Shook Up and Rent. Off-Broadway, she was in Zanna, Don’t!, Myths and Hymns, Closer Than Ever, Miracle Brothers, How to Save the World…, Disaster! and Unbroken Circle. Anika grew up in Cambridge, MA with nine brothers and sisters from different races and countries, and she majored in theater at Yale University. She released an album of lullabies for all ages called Sing You to Sleep and she is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and the board of NYC Children’s Theater.
Solea Pfeiffer (Penny Lane) most recently premiered her solo show You Are Here for Audible Theatre. She will next star in Tyler Perry’s Netflix film A Jazzman’s Blues. Previous credits include the world premiere of Gun & Powder (Signature Theatre), the title role in Evita (New York City Center), The Light in the Piazza opposite Renee Fleming (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Songs for a New World (New York City Center Encores!), Sondheim on Sondheim (Hollywood Bowl), West Side Story (LA Philharmonic/Dudamel Hollywood Bowl & Steven Reinecke’s National Symphony Orchestra) and Hamilton (West Coast premiere). TV credits include “The Good Fight” (CBS) and “Scandal” (ABC).
Drew Gehling (Jeff Bebe) Broadway: Waitress, On a Clear Day…, Jersey Boys. Regional: Almost Famous; Dave (Hayes Nom); Roman Holiday; The Scarlet Pimpernel in Concert, Waitress, Johnny Baseball (A.R.T.); Billy & Ray (Vineyard Theatre); A Minister’s Wife (LCT); Anne of Green Gables (Off-Broadway). Tons of development. TV/Film: “Blacklist,” “Chicago PD,” “Blue Bloods,” “Instinct,” “The Code,” “Dietland,” “Good Fight,” “Succession,” “Kimmy Schmidt,” “Elementary,” “30 Rock,” “Smash,” Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO), “Indoor Boys,” “Stomach People,” “Unconformity,” many others. Academically, he co-authored a paper on Singers with faculty members at the NYU Voice Center. An alumnus of both Carnegie Mellon and Columbia Universities, he is so thankful to be reunited with this group of people on such a special project.
Casey Likes (William Miller) is honored to be a part of Almost Famous in his Broadway debut, returning to William after originating the role at The Old Globe. He’s performed since age 3 and is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. Upcoming he’ll be seen leading the MGM feature film Dark Harvest and portraying KISS legend Gene Simmons in Spinning Gold. He’s also a recent finalist of the NHSMTA (Jimmy Awards). Film: Everything Must Go. TV: “The Birch”, “Acts of Crime” (Dir. Sam Esmail), “American Blackout”. Regional: A Christmas Carol. He thanks his family, AZ, CESD, Jeff, and Dave.
Rob Colletti (Lester Bangs) is honored to bring Lester to Broadway after re-creating the role for Almost Famous’ record-breaking regional run. Select credits include Dewey Finn (Original Cast) in the School of Rock First National Tour (Scenie Award), Elder Cunningham in the Broadway, National Tour, and Chicago productions of The Book of Mormon and Julie DeRogatis in the hit “Sopranos” feature-length prequel film The Many Saints of Newark, now on HBOMAX. Regional: The Kennedy Center, The Old Globe, American Theater Company, The Second City, New Theatre, Circle Theatre. Training: Harvard University, Columbia College, The Second City. For Alice and Phil.
Matt Bittner (Larry Fellows). Select acting credits include the Tony nominated revival of Present Laughter, starring Kevin Kline; School of Rock: The Musical (National Tour, Broadway); Almost Famous: The Musical (The Old Globe); Up Here (La Jolla Playhouse); Much Ado About Nothing (The Public’s Shakespeare In The Park); As You Like It (Two River Theater), and various productions with Mile Square Theater and Thingamajig Theatre Co. TV: “Madam Secretary”, “The Good Fight”. MFA, Rutgers University.
Chad Burris (Vic) is so thrilled to be a part of this incredible company. Other Broadway credits include Mean Girls (Damian) and Frozen (Olaf) National Tour: The Book of Mormon Regional: Arkansas Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, The Old Globe, and The Muny. TV/Film: “Evil”, Better Nate Than Never
Gerard Canonico (Dick Roswell) is a NYC based actor/musician. Broadway credits include: Les Miserables, Be More Chill, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, Groundhog Day. Off-Broadway credits include: Bare, Dear Evan Hansen, Brooklynite, The Talls. Feature Films: Stuck, Not Fade Away, Boy Wonder. Notable Soundtracks: Be More Chill, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, Groundhog Day, 21 Chump Street, Dear Evan Hansen, Bubble Boy. Gerard also plays in a variety of projects. Most notably, he fronts and plays guitar in a national touring tribute band to Blink 182 known as The Dude Ranch (@TheDudeRanchNYC) and is the Drummer for the original band Parader.
Julia Cassandra (Estrella). Broadway debut! Recent credits include Almost Famous (The Old Globe) and the Farewell Tour of Mamma Mia!. Much gratitude to my family, the entire Almost Famous team, and Danny at Hudson Artists. All my love to Dustin.
Brandon Contreras (Silent Ed Vallencourt) is a NYC born & raised multi-hyphenate creative. As an actor, they’ve been seen in: World Premieres of Almost Famous (Old Globe) and Bhangin’ It! (La Jolla Playhouse), Road Show (Encores!), In the Heights (1st National), Jerry Springer: The Opera (The New Group), Beauty & the Beast (Drury Lane), The Play that Goes Wrong (Pioneer), The Hamilton Mixtape (Public Theater) and has worked at countless regional theaters around the country. TV Credits: "WeCrashed”, “Mr. Robot” and “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens”. Brandon is a freelance filmmaker/writer and a co-creator, writer and EP of the Queer sketch platform “The Homo Sapien Experience” featured on E! News, Queerty, and LogoTV.
Jakeim Hart (Dennis Hope). Broadway debut. Select theater credits include: Sing Street (NYTW); We Live in Cairo (ART); Saturday Night (Second Stage); Next to Normal (Casa Mañana. TV: “Blue Bloods” (CBS); “The Affair” (Showtime). Debut EP Bad Country coming soon to all streaming platforms. Love to Mom, Bold MP family and Paradigm. Proudly on the autism spectrum This moment is dedicated to Keith Hart. “Peace and blessings”.
Van Hughes (David Felton, u/s Russell, u/s Jeff Bebe) was most recently seen Off- Broadway in Space Dogs (MCC): a musical he wrote and starred in with Nick Blaemire. Broadway: Deaf West's Spring Awakening, American Idiot, 9 to 5, and Hairspray. Off-Broadway: Son of a Gun (Beckett), Saved (Playwrights Horizons). Regional: When We're Gone (Lyric Theatre), A Little More Alive (Barrington), Rocky Horror Picture Show (Bucks County). Film: Sex And The City I & II, Rachel Getting Married. TV: “Royal Pains,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “One Life to Live”. As a composer: films Sequence Break, Space Clown, and the musical Burn All Night (A.R.T.). B.A. in Theatre from Fordham University.
Jana Djenne Jackson (Polexia). Broadway debut! Jana was most recently seen in Little Shop of Horrors in her Off-Broadway debut as the Urchin/Audrey Cover, Dance Captain, and OS singer. She made history as the first Black woman to play Audrey Off-Broadway. Now, she’s so excited to be making Broadway history in this fantastic show. Special thanks to her amazing agents at Buchwald, her friends and family that supported her through it all and her wonderful cast.
Katie Ladner (Sapphire) is excited to be back on Broadway with Almost Famous! Other Broadway credits include, Wicked (Shen-Shen, Madame Morrible u/s) and the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close (ensemble.) She was in the original Off-Broadway production of Heathers: The Musical (Martha) as well as the regional premieres of Disney’s Freaky Friday (Gretchen, Ellie u/s) and Be More Chill (Jenna) and can be heard on all three original cast recordings. All thanks to Mom and Dad, Victoria, Jamie, Sam, and her one hunk of a husband, Clayton! Proud Belmont University Alum! Galatians 1:3-5
Danny Lindgren (Swing) Broadway debut! Regional: Candide (Kennedy Center), The Music Man, Rags, Chasing Rainbows, Damn Yankees, The Most Happy Fella (Goodspeed), Almost Famous (The Old Globe), A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre Center), All is Calm (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Candide (LA Opera), Addams Family (Ogunquit Playhouse), From Here to Eternity, Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls (The REV Theatre Company)
Erica Mansfield (Swing, Dance Captain, u/s Elaine) was recently seen in the Broadway company of Mrs. Doubtfire understudying the role of Miranda Hilliard. Other Broadway credits include Kiss Me Kate, Bandstand, Finding Neverland, On the Town, On the Twentieth Century, Pippin, Evita, How to Succeed… and Broadway and Touring companies of Mamma Mia!. She has played Cassie in regional and touring companies of A Chorus Line, Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! (North Shore Music Theatre) and Lily in Annie (North Carolina Theatre) to name a few. FILM/TV credits include recurring as Tawny on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime), “That Damn Michael Che” (HBOMax) and “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime).
Alisa Melendez (Swing). Broadway debut! Recently graduated from Pace University and is honored to have been with Almost Famous since 2019. A3 Artists Agency and Lakey Wolff Management.
Emily Schultheis (Anita Miller, u/s Penny Lane) Almost Famous will be her Broadway debut! Other favorite theater credits include: Bat Out of Hell the Musical (Nat’l Tour, Raven), Wicked (Nat’l Tour, Elphaba Standby), Almost Famous (The Old Globe).
Daniel Sovich (Darryl, u/s William) is the creator and lead singer of the band DISCOFOX down in Nashville, TN and will be making his Broadway debut in Almost Famous. Aside from writing and releasing music, which can be found at "https://linktr.ee/discofox", Sovich began his career as an actor in NYC with roles in The New Group's production of Downtown Race Riot as well as guest starring in the CBS productions "Blue Bloods" and "The Code". Daniel is repped with CESD Talent Agency as well as Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
Libby Winters (Leslie, u/s Elaine) Broadway: American Idiot (Extraordinary Girl, OBC ensemble), Mamma Mia! (Sophie, Vegas company); Off Broadway: Big Love (Signature Theater); Regional: Almost Famous (Old Globe), Jen Silverman's All the Roads Home (Cincinnati Playhouse), Steve Martin's Bright Star (Old Globe), American Idiot (Berkeley Rep). TV credits include “Escape from Dannemora” (Showtime), “Billions” (Showtime), “Olive Kittredge” (HBO), “Smash” (NBC), “Champs” (ABC). Libby fronts the grunge-pop band L4KES (@lakestheband) and is a sommelier/educator with beverage consulting group Lake Effect.
Matthew C. Yee (Ben Fong-Torres) is thrilled to be making his Broadway debut. He is an actor, playwright, and musician. Regional theatre credits include Cambodian Rock Band (Victory Gardens); Vietgone (Writers Theatre); Treasure Island (Berkeley Rep); The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre); Moby Dick (Lookingglass Theatre). TV credits include “Chicago Fire”, “Chicago Justice”, “61st Street”, and “Empire.” He is a company member of Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago.