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Almost Famous review – Cameron Crowe’s Broadway musical is almost there

Bernard B Jacobs Theatre, New York Solid performances and rock’n’roll nostalgia can’t overcome lackluster lyrics and source material flaws in the musical adaptation of the 2000 film Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical film in which a 15-year-old aspiring journalist cuts his teeth on the road with an up-and-coming rock band, is not an obvious choice for a Broadway musical despite being predominantly about music. Or, more accurately, about musicians and devotion – a charitable reading of the film, whose fans I’m not convinced overlap that much with musical theater, would say it pondered the ineffable qualities that make a star. The difference between a good band and a great one, a solid night onstage and magic, poser and cool. Like just-good bands, the new Broadway version, adapted by Crowe with music and lyrics by Tom Kitt, has some of the right ingredients – overall convincing performances, kinetic choreography, the sheen of nostalgia, both for the 2000 film and 70s rock’n’roll. But the overall chemistry is lackluster, bound to elicit more shrugs than screams. Continue reading...

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