"Almost Famous" Musical Announces Cast And Creative Team

Almost Famous Musical has officially announced their cast and creative team before its world premiere in their home city of San Diego. Producers for the show, Lisa Vollack, Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson announced today, August 1st that the broadway show, will include Colin Donnell as Russell Hammond, Casey Likes as William Miller, Solea Pteiffer as Penny Lane, Drew Gehling as Jeff Bebe and more!

The show, based on the iconic film, will be joined, as previously announced, by, Pulitzer Prize and two-time Tony Awards winner, Tom Kitt (orchestrations & arrangements) and Lorin Latarro (choreographer). Now also joining the creative team is Tony Award winner Derek McLane (scenic design) and two-time Tony Award winner David Zinn (costume design) as well as, 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).

“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 haveAlmost Famous at this theatre, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with our audiences.”

Performances begin September 13th with an opening night set for September 27th. Almost Famous tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 2, 2019, beginning at 12:00 noon. You can grab a pair here.

You can read more about the cast below!

Colin Donnell(Russell Hammond) is a performer for both stage and screen. He is well known for his starring television roles of Connor Rhodes on “Chicago Med” and its sister series “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Fire”; Tommy Merlyn on “Arrow”; and Scotty Lockhart on “The Affair.” His other television credits include “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Person of Interest,” “Unforgettable,” and “Pan Am,” and he appeared in the filmsSell ByandEvery Secret Thing. Donnell has appeared on Broadway inViolet, Anything Goes(Drama Desk Award nomination), andJersey Boys, as well as the national tour ofWicked. He was seen Off Broadway inLove’s Labour’s Lost(The Public Theater),Meet Me in St. Louis(Irish Repertory Theatre), andAlmost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver(Promenade Theatre), plus regional productions across the country.

Casey Likes(William Miller) is honored to be a part of this absolutely amazing show and cast. He has been performing on stage, TV, and film since he was 3. 2019 ASU HSMTA Winner, 2019 National High School Musical Theatre Award (Jimmy Award) Finalist. Regional:A Christmas Carol. Film:Everything Must Go. TV: “American Blackout.” @justcaseylikes

Solea Pfeiffer(Penny Lane) most recently starred in the critically-acclaimed run of Encores! Off-Center’s production of Jason Robert Brown’sSongs for a New World. Prior to that, she starred as Eliza in the West Coast premiere ofHamilton. Solea’s first job out of college was Maria in the LA Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel Hollywood Bowl production ofWest Side Story. She later reprised the role in Steven Reineke’s National Symphony Orchestra production at the Kennedy Center. On television, Solea recurs on “The Good Fight” and appeared in one of the final episodes of “Scandal.”

Drew Gehling(Jeff Bebe). Broadway:Waitress(Grammy-nominated Cast Album),On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,Jersey Boys. Regional:Dave(Helen Hayes nomination),Roman Holiday,The Scarlet Pimpernel(Lincoln Center Concert),Waitress,Johnny Baseball(A.R.T.);Billy & Ray(Vineyard Theatre);A Minister’s Wife, I Believe(LCT);Anne of Green Gables(Off Broadway). Development:The Secret Garden(upcoming),American Psycho,The Searchers,Big Fish,Sunset Boulevard. TV/Film: “Instinct,” “The Code,” “Dietland,” “The Good Fight,” “Succession,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Elementary,” “30 Rock,” “Smash,”Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight(HBO),The Indoor Boys,Stomach People,Desert Guests, “Daily Show,” “Live from Lincoln Center.” Academically, Drew has co-authored a paper about Professional Sings along with several faculty members at the NYU Voice Center. He is an alumnus of both Carnegie Mellon and Columbia Universities and is thrilled to be working with this incredible team of friends both old and new.

Anika Larsen(Elaine Miller) has performed on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King MusicalAvenue Q,Xanadu, All Shook Up and Rent. Off-Broadway, she was in Zanna, Don’t!, Myths and Hymns, Closer Than Ever,Miracle Brothers,How to Save theWorld and Find True Love in 90 Minutes, Disaster!, and Unbroken Circle. Anika wrote and performed in a musical called Shafrika, The White Girl about her childhood growing up in Cambridge, MA with nine brothers and sisters from different races and countries. She released an album of lullabies for all ages called Sing You to Sleep. Anika majored in theater at Yale University and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. www.anikalarsen.biz

Robert Colletti(Lester Bangs) recently originated the leading role of Dewey Finn in the First National Broadway Tour ofSchool of Rockto critical acclaim. Broadway:The Book of Mormon. National Tour:School of Rock(Scenie Award - Best Actor in a Touring Production),The Book of Mormon. Regional:25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee(The New Theatre),The Original Grease(American Theatre Company, 2011 Jeff Award - Best Musical),Blithe SpiritandTalk Radio(Allen Theatre),Of Mice and Men(New Studio), various revues (The Second City). Workshops:Almost Famous,The Great Carbuncle(BMI New York). Film/TV: The upcoming Soprano’s prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” (New Line/Warner Bros.), “Just Roll With It” (ABC/ Disney), “WTF: World Thumbwrestling Federation”. Training: B.A. in Acting - Columbia College Chicago, The Second City. Rob was also a nominee for the Kennedy Center National Irene Ryan Award for Best Actor. Instagram: @rob.colletti

Matt Bittner(Larry Fellows).Almost Famousis Matt’s first project with The Old Globe. Other select credits includePresent Laughter(Broadway),School of Rock(Broadway & National Tour),Up Here(La Jolla),Much AdoAbout Nothing(The Public),All Is Calm(Hudson Valley Shakespeare),As You Like It(Two River Theater),Be A Good Little Widow(The Wild Project),The Pillowman(Thingamajig), and guest appearances on “The Good Fight” and “Madam Secretary.” Matt is also a sound designer and composer. mattbittner.com.

Chad Burris(Vic Nunez) is so excited to be making his Old Globe debut. National Tour:The Book of Mormon, First and Second National Tours. Regional credits: The Muny, Cleveland Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, and Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He is also an accomplished writer and producer, having created the critically- acclaimed web series,City Boyz. Represented by HCKR and Authentic Management. 

Gerard Canonico(Dick Roswell). Favorite Broadway: original Broadway casts ofBe More Chill(Rich),Groundhog Day(Fred),Spring Awakening(ensemble/Moritz replacement),American Idiot. Off-Broadway:Bare(New World Stages),Dear Evan Hansen(2nd Stage Theater),Brooklynite(The Vineyard Theater),The Talls(2nd Stage Uptown Theater). Regional:Be More Chill(Two River Theater). Feature films:Stuck, Not Fade Away(director David Chase),Boy Wonder. Gerard also freelances as a musician on a variety of instruments and projects. Most notably he fronts and plays guitar in the touring tribute band to Blink-182 known as The Dude Ranch. Instagram- @GerardCanonicoOfficial

Julia Cassandra(Estrella) is stoked to be making her Old Globe debut and to be performing in her home state of California! Recent credits include the Farewell Tour of Mamma Mia!, Anna in Frozen on the Disney Wonder, and the world premiere of Loch Ness: A New Musical. @julia_cassandra

Brandon Contreras(Silent Ed Vallencourt) is thrilled to continue this journey withAlmost Famousat The Old Globe this season. TV: “Mr. Robot” (USA), 2018 NCBUniversal Upfronts. New York:Road Show(New York City Center Encores!),Almost Famous(developmental lab),Jerry Springer: The Opera(The New Group),The Connector(NYTW),Our Lady of 121st Street(Off-Broadway),The Secret Garden(developmental lab) andOur Town(Actor’s Fund),The Hamilton Mixtape(The Public). Tour:In the Heights(first national). Regional: Drury Lane Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, Portland Center Stage, Pioneer Theatre Co. Fulton Theatre and Artists Repertory Theatre. B.F.A. from Pace University.www.BrandonAContreras.com- Follow: @OhHey_Brandon

Sam Gravitte(Dennis Hope) is thrilled to be making his Old Globe debut. Broadway:Wicked. Touring/Regional:Wicked, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat(ACT), various concerts. BA Princeton University. @samgravitte

Katie Ladner(Sapphire) is thrilled to make her Old Globe debut with this wonderful show. She was recently seen on Broadway inWickedand made her debut in the Broadway revival ofSunset Boulevard. Off-Broadway credits include the original cast ofHeathers: The Musical(OCR) andGigantic! Regional credits include the original casts ofDisney’s Freaky Friday(OCR) andBe More Chill(OCR). Proud Belmont Alum. KatieLadner.com Instagram/Twitter: @ktladner

Storm Lever(Polexia) made her Broadway debut inSummer: The Donna Summer Musicalas one of the three actors playing the title role, a part she created at La Jolla Playhouse. Off-Broadway:Dorothy in The Wringer(City Center). Regional:Freaky Friday(Signature Theatre, Alley Theatre, Cleveland Play House, La Jolla Playhouse),Emotional Creature(Berkeley Rep),Kansas City Choir Boy(Arsht Center, Miami). New York theatre:Fashion Academy(Vital Theatre),Good Swimmer(Prototype Festival). She received her B.F.A. from University of Michigan. @_stormieweather.

Emily Schultheis(Anita Miller) is so humbled to be making her debut at The Old Globe with this incredible show and company. Other favorite credits include: National Tours:Wicked(Elphaba Standby),Bat Out of Helloriginal cast (Raven). Regional: Island Song(world premiere),Some Lovers(world premiere, Steven Sater/Burt Bacharach). TV: “God Friended Me” (CBS). Indiana University. @em_schultheis

Daniel Sovich(Darryl), born and raised in Cleveland, OH, is an NYU class of 2018 graduate making his regional theater debut here at the Old Globe. Previous professional credits include Jay114 in the Off-Broadway production ofDowntown Race Riotand featured roles in CBS’ “The Code” and “Blue Bloods.”

Libby Winters(Leslie) is thrilled to return to Old Globe. On Broadway, Libby starred as Extraordinary Girl in Green Day's American Idiot and was part of the original Broadway cast. She starred as Sophie in the Las Vegas company of Mamma Mia. Off-Broadway, she played Olympia in Big Love at the Signature Theater and originated the role of Eva in White Noise at the NYMF. Regionally, she starred in Jen Silverman's All The Roads Home at Cincinnati Playhouse, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's Bright Star at the Old Globe and American Idiot at Berkeley Rep. Television credits include “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime), “Billions” (Showtime), “Olive Kittredge” (HBO), “Smash” (NBC) and “Champs” (ABC/Dreamworks). Films include Light YearsMy Man is a LoserCasual Encounters and Dreaming American. Her band LAKES has played numerous venues around NYC and LA. Their debut EP Just to Feel the Feeling is available on all streaming platforms. 

Matthew C. Yee(Ben Fong-Torres). Theatre credits include Cambodian Rock Band at Victory Gardens Theatre, Vietgone at Writers Theatre, Twelfth Night at Writers Theatre, Once at Paramount Theatre, Treasure Island at Berkeley Rep, and The Wheel at Steppenwolf Theatre. Television credits include “Empire,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Chicago Justice.”

Van Hughes(David Felton). Broadway credits include Deaf West's Spring Awakening, Green Day's American Idiot, 9 to 5, and Hairspray. Off-Broadway he starred in Son of a Gun (Beckett) and Saved (Playwrights Horizons). Regionally Van starred in When We're Gone (Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City), A Little More Alive (Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Barrington Stage Company), and Rocky Horror Picture Show (Bucks County Playhouse). His film credits include Sex and The City: The Movie and SATC 2Tenure, and Rachel Getting Married. On TV he guest-starred in “Royal Pains,” “Chibila” on Nick Jr., “Law & Order: SVU” & “Criminal Intent,” “Six Degrees,” “As the World Turns,” “One Life To Live.” As a composer, Van has scored the films Sequence Break and Space Clown, and he co-authored the musical Burn All Night (ART) with Andy Mientus and the Brooklyn band Teen Commandments. He has a B.A. in Theatre from Fordham University, NYC.

Photo: Getty