Colin Donnell, Drew Gehling, Anika Larsen to Lead ALMOST FAMOUS at Old Globe

By: Aug. 01, 2019
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Colin Donnell, Drew Gehling, Anika Larsen to Lead ALMOST FAMOUS at Old Globe

BroadwayWorld has learned the cast and creative team for Almost Famous, a world premiere musical with book and lyrics by Academy Award winner Cameron Crowe, based on his iconic film. Almost Famous, which will open the 2019-2020 Season at The Old Globe, is directed by Tony Award® nominee Jeremy Herrin and features original music and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize and two-time Tony Award winner Tom Kitt.

Performances will run September 13 - October 20, with an official opening night on September 27.

The cast will include Colin Donnell as Russell Hammond, Casey Likes as William Miller, Solea Pfeiffer as Penny Lane, Drew Gehling as Jeff Bebe, Anika Larsen as Elaine Miller, Robert Colletti as Lester Bangs, Matt Bittner as Larry Fellows, Chad Burris as Vic Nunez, Gerard Canonico as Dick Roswell, Julia Cassandra as Estrella, Brandon Contreras as Silent Ed Vallencourt, Sam Gravitte as Dennis Hope, Katie Ladner as Sapphire, Storm Lever as Polexia, Emily Schultheis as Anita Miller, Daniel Sovich as Darryl, Libby Winters as Leslie, Matthew C. Yee as Ben Fong-Torres, Van Hughes as David Felton, and Danny Lindgren and Alisa Melendez as swings.

Joining the previously announced Pulitzer Prize and two-time Tony Award winner Tom Kitt (orchestrations & arrangements) and Lorin Latarro (choreography), is Tony Award winner Derek McLane (scenic design), two-time Tony Award winner David Zinn (costume design), six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design),Bryan Perri (music direction), AnnMarie Milazzo (vocal design), and Campbell Young Associates (wigs, hair & make-up design).

It's all happening... San Diego, 1973. Led Zeppelin is king, Richard Nixon is President, and idealistic 15-year-old William Miller is an aspiring music journalist. When Rolling Stonemagazine 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. Written by Academy Award winner Cameron Crowe based on his iconic film, Almost Famous is about a young man finding his place in the world and the indelible characters he meets along the way. This joyous world premiere is a celebration of community and the power of music.

Presented on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Old Globe Theatre, Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Almost Famous tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 2, 2019, beginning at 12:00 noon. Single tickets start at $50.00. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

"Everyone at the Globe is hugely excited to welcome an uncommonly gifted company to Balboa Park for what we know will be the musical theatre event of the season," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director of The Old Globe Barry Edelstein.

"Cameron Crowe, Tom Kitt, and Jeremy Herrin have assembled a group of actors blessed with extraordinary talent and incendiary energy, and together they will transform a beloved movie-which is also, of course, a local San Diego tale-into an unforgettable new work for the American stage. I am proud to have Almost Famous at this theatre, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with our audiences."

Crowe's first book, the nonfiction study of a year in the life of a California high school, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," became a best seller, and his subsequent screenplay was nominated for Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium by the Writers Guild of America. His other film credits include Jerry Maguire, nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.

That year, Crowe also received a nomination from the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, and received the PEN Literary Award for Screenplay.

He next penned Conversations with Wilder, a heralded collection of interviews with the legendary director Billy Wilder and was published in November 1999.

Almost Famous, released in September 2000, was the culmination of a 10-year journey to put Crowe's experiences working for Rolling Stone on film. It received four Golden Globe Awards and four Academy Award nominations. It received two Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Kate Hudson), and Crowe was awarded the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

Tom Kitt (Music, Lyrics, Orchestrations & Arrangements), received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as two Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations for Next to Normal. He is also the composer of If/Then, High Fidelity, Bring It On: The Musical (co-composer with Lin-Manuel Miranda), Superhero (Second Stage Theater), Disney's Freaky Friday (stage production and Disney Channel Original Movie), Dave (Arena Stage), and The Winter's Tale, All's Well That Ends Well, and Cymbeline (The Public Theater's New York Shakespeare Festival). As a music supervisor, arranger, and orchestrator, his credits include SpongeBob SquarePants, Head Over Heels, Jagged Little Pill, Grease Live!, "Rise" (NBC), and American Idiot. He received an Emmy Award as co-writer (with Miranda) for the 2013 Tony Award opening number, "Bigger!" As a musical director, conductor, arranger, and orchestrator, his credits include the Pitch Perfect films, 2CELLOS featuring Lang Lang ("Live and Let Die"), "The Kennedy Center Honors," 13, Everyday Rapture, Deaf West Theatre's Pippin, and These Paper Bullets.

Jeremy Herrin (Director) is Artistic Director of Headlong, where his credits include This House (National Theatre, West End, U.K. tour), Labour of Love (West End), People, Places & Things (National Theatre, West End, U.K. tour, New York), The House They Grew Up In (Chichester Festival Theatre), Common (National Theatre), Junkyard (Bristol Old Vic, Theatr Clwyd, Rose Theatre Kingston), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (international tour), The Absence of War (U.K. tour), and The Nether (Royal Court Theatre, West End). His other theatre work includes Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (Royal Shakespeare Company, West End, Broadway), That Face (Royal Court Theatre, West End), Tusk Tusk, No Quarter, Hero and Kin, The Heretic, The Priory, and The Vertical Hour (Royal Court Theatre), The Plough and the Stars (National Theatre), The Moderate Soprano (Hampstead Theatre), The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe), and Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival Theatre).

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