According to a press release from San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, the Almost Famous musical will debut there this September, and run from September 13 through October 20. Rather than the movie’s ’70s rock, the musical will consist of original songs, written by Crowe himself along with star Broadway composer Tom Kitt. Kitt also wrote the music for the adaptation of High Fidelity, another movie from 2000.
It’s unclear whether the stage version will include any familiar classic rock tunes, and how it will depict the “Tiny Dancer” bus singalong scene without use of that song.
The film, which was based on Crowe’s youthful adventures as a music journalist for Rolling Stone in the 1970s, starred Patrick Fugit as the young Crowe stand-in, William Miller, with Billy Crudup playing rock guitarist Russell Hammond, and Kate Hudson, in an Oscar-nominated performance, portrayed “band aid” Penny Lane. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman was also in the movie as the famed rock critic Lester Bangs, in which his character famously warned William not to make friends with rock stars.
The 61-year-old Crowe grew up in San Diego and his first well-known film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, was based on his experiences undercover at a high school in the area, so the show will be debuting close to home for him.
It’s not clear if, or when, the show will be heading to Broadway, although it was first announced as in development for a debut there.
Crowe’s career has been in a swoon for awhile, and the argument could be made that Almost Famous, which will mark its 20th anniversary next year, was his last well-received major project. Vanilla Sky arrived a year later to mixed reception, and Elizabethtown, in 2005, got an even worse reception. 2011’s We Bought a Zoo and 2015’s Aloha were both flops, with the latter film even being viciously trashed by Sony executives in emails that were leaked as part of the Sony hack. Crowe’s Showtime series Roadies, meanwhile, was cancelled after just one season.
The director has made a series of music documentaries about the likes of Pearl Jam that have been much better received, and his new film about David Crosby, David Crosby: Remember My Name, got very positive reviews after it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.