Oscar winner Cameron Crowe made his official Broadway debut Thursday with the opening night of “Almost Famous,” the musical adaptation of his 2000 film, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.
The special night was highlighted by a rare public appearance by music legend Joni Mitchell.
Crowe’s longtime friend had a seat in the audience, but then surprised the cast and crew with backstage champagne toast after the performance. Mitchell chatted with Solea Pfeiffer, who plays Penny Lane, as well as fellow actors Chris Wood, Anika Larsen, Drew Gehling, Rob Colletti and Casey Likes.
“It’s an elixir that is really hard to contain that comes straight from the heart,” Crowe told the intimate party of the joy he felt having just watched the show with Mitchell at his side.
The evening’s guest list also included Clive Davis, Melissa Benoist, Tommy Tune, Amy Heckerling, Vanessa Williams and Paul Rudd. Even the original inspiration for the iconic character Penny Lane, Pennie Trumbull, was there.
The curtain call included an impromptu concert with the audience singing along to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.”
“It’s like a cross between a family and a band because we’ve lived together and there’s no one person in the whole cast that really dominates another one,” Crowe told Variety on the red carpet before the show. “I also think if you’re going to be in such a dream situation like this, let it be something that comes from the heart. We are here for all the right reasons. I walk away feeling like we’re going to be friends forever.”
Keeping it a family affair, Crowe paid tribute to his mother Alice Crowe, who is prominently portrayed in “Almost Famous” and passed away in 2019.
“It was my mom’s dream,” he poignantly stated about finally making it to Broadway.
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