The musical, which snagged a Tony nomination last season for Best Score, ran for 77 performances at the Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. Now, the team is reentering the development stage with a residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
The move is not one without precedent: Many musicals have, historically, been retooled after their Broadway debuts, although Almost Famous' entry into a development residency within a year of its closing is notable.
“Cameron and I are thrilled that the O’Neill is giving us this wonderful opportunity to dive back into the world of Almost Famous. Having previously experienced the magic of the O’Neill, I know that our time there will be inspiring and transformative,” says Kitt, who is a member of the O’Neill’s Board of Trustees.
In a previous interview with Playbill, Kitt had teased the project's continued life, saying, "This is the music that changed my life. I think with every show, more life is better than not. If you're lucky, you hit it out of the park the first time, but most often with a new musical there's stuff to learn every step of the way. It's been a wild ride with Almost Famous, first with the Old Globe in San Diego, and then on Broadway, and we've learned a lot in both incarnations. I'm excited to see what 'more life' is for this show."
Almost Famous, based on the 2000 Oscar-winning Cameron Crowe film of the same name, follows a 15-year-old aspiring music journalist who Rolling Stone hires to go on tour with an up-and-coming rock band. The musical features a book and lyrics by Crowe and music and lyrics by Kitt, with Kitt also penning arrangements and orchestrations.
The original Broadway engagement opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre November 3, 2022, where it played 30 preview performances and 77 performances before closing January 8, 2023.
“I’m incredibly excited to host Tom and Cameron on campus and to provide them with an opportunity to continue fine-tuning this piece. For nearly 60 years the O’Neill has been a place for experimentation and exploration; we take seriously the preparation of artists’ work for future realization, and Almost Famous is no exception. Who says development has to stop once a piece hits the stage—even a Broadway stage,” said Tiffani Gavin, the O’Neill’s executive director.
Public readings of the new Almost Famous workshop will be given November 11, 15, and 18 at 7 PM at the Waterford, Connecticut, venue.