Drama Diary: Old Globe’s ‘Almost Famous’ Musical hits Broadway later this year

The producers of the musical “Almost Famous,” which had its world premiere in fall 2019 at the Old Globe in San Diego, have announced that the show will premiere on Broadway later this year.

No date has been announced, but the musical’s website (almostfamousthemusical.com) has been updated with the words: “It’s All Happening…Broadway 2022.” A publicist for the musical said producers will announce dates later this month.

The musical “Almost Famous,” based on the 2000 film of the same name, features book and lyrics by Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Cameron Crowe, who was born and raised in San Diego. The film and musical are based on Crowe’s own experiences as a teenage rock ‘n’ roll correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine in the early 1970s.

The musical features a score by Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal,” “American Idiot”), and it was performed at the Old Globe by Jeremy Herrin. The musical was set for a spot on Broadway much earlier, but the pandemic has delayed producers’ plans.

‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ on sale

The Old Globe has opened single ticket sales for its summer engagement of “Freestyle Love Supreme,” the Manhattan-born improv hip-hop show that’s now touring nationally. He plays at the Old Globe from June 21 to July 10.

“Freestyle Love Supreme” was conceived in 2004 by improv theater expert Anthony Veneziale, who co-created the show with “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail. Cast members create on-the-spot rap and musical theater songs from the audience’s suggestions.

Miranda starred in the original “Freestyle Love Supreme” shows before moving on to writing her own Tony-winning musicals. Kail then directed Miranda’s “In the Heights” as well as “Hamilton”, for which he won a 2016 Tony Award. Veneziale went on to produce “Freestyle Love Supreme” in a variety of locations and formats, including a run on Broadway last fall. Veneziale leads the nationwide tour as the show’s emcee.

For tickets, visit theoldglobe.org.

SD Opera hosts the third “hackathon”

San Diego Opera has announced plans to host Opera Hack 3.0, the third in a series of events where it invites tech experts to explore the ways technology can be used in production, presentation and opera consumption.

With the support of an Opera America Innovation Grant, the San Diego Opera hosted its first “hackathon” in 2019, where a diverse group of composers, librettists, producers, directors and designers from the music industry opera met with experts in the fields of virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, software design, creative coding and 3D printing. A second event took place in 2021.

Among the winning Opera Hack proposals that are currently in development is OperaMap, which will be a shared online database of theater interiors, stages and backstage areas mapped with 360-degree “protogrammetry” that opera companies can use to see how the set will work in their theaters, and “Becoming”, a concept where virtual and augmented reality technology can be used to place the viewer in a world of sound where they can both see and feel the environment and the voices of opera singers.

Opera Hack 3.0 will take place entirely online this spring and summer. Project registration details are available online at sdopera.org/operahack.

Lamb’s again extends the ‘Quatuor’

Lamb’s Players Theater has extended its production of the musical “Million Dollar Quartet” for the second time.

The musical, based on an actual 1956 recording session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, will now air until July 3.

Meanwhile, one of Lamb’s production roles was recast with a new actor. Michael Louis Cusimano, who has played Presley since production opened in April, has left the show for a role in the upcoming La Jolla Playhouse production of the musical “Lempicka.” He will be replaced by Walter Brinskele, who played Presley in Lamb’s Players’ 2019 production of “Million Dollar Quartet” at the Avo Playhouse in Vista.

For tickets, visit lambsplayers.org.

New game to debut in Vista

Vista’s Broadway Theater will produce a new play in June by local playwright Phil Olson.

Olson’s romantic comedy “Love or Best Offer” will be presented as a staged reading in four performances from June 3-5. It’s the story of four middle-aged adults learning to navigate the world of online dating. It will star Broadway Theater co-founders Randall Hickman and Douglas Davis as well as actors Susan Stuber and Julianna Palma.

Olson will attend all performances and is seeking audience feedback as he develops the script. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. June 3 and 4 and 2 p.m. June 4 and 5 at 340 E. Broadway, Vista. Tickets are $15. Call (760) 806-7905 or visit broadwayvista.biz.

Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email him at [email protected]

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