“Almost Famous,” a stage adaptation of the acclaimed 2000 film about a young person who travels with a rock band while endeavoring to develop into a music journalist, will close on Broadway on Jan. 8 after an unsuccessfully short run.
The musical, which had certainly one of the season’s biggest budgets and best-known brands, began previews Oct. 3 and opened Nov. 3. The reviews were mostly not good; in The Recent York Times, the critic Jesse Green wrote that, despite the film’s charms, “the stage musical misses every opportunity to be the sharp, smart entertainment it may need been.”
The show’s grosses have been so-so, and insufficient to consistently cover its running costs: through the week that ended Dec. 11, it grossed $765,060, while playing to houses that were only three-quarters full. On the time of its closing “Almost Famous,” which stars Casey Likes, Drew Gehling, Anika Larsen, Solea Pfeiffer and Chris Wood, could have had 30 preview performances and 77 regular performances.
The musical is a passion project for Cameron Crowe, who won an Oscar for the film’s screenplay, which was based on his experiences as an adolescent (he also directed the film). Crowe wrote the musical’s book, while Tom Kitt composed the brand new music, and the 2 collaborated on the lyrics. The show, directed by Jeremy Herrin, also encompasses a few pre-existing songs, the most effective known of which is Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.”
“Almost Famous,” produced by Lia Vollack and Michael Cassel, was capitalized for as much as $18 million, in line with a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It has not recouped that cash; the producers hope that the show will fare higher beyond Broadway. (A forged album is to be released March 17, and the producers said in an announcement that they anticipate “many productions in communities across the country and world, for years to come back.” One probable destination: Australia, where Cassel is certainly one of the most important business producers.)
Like Crowe himself, the show spent its formative period in San Diego: It had a pre-Broadway production in 2019 on the Old Globe Theater there. The Los Angeles Times declared it “an unqualified winner.”