The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon can't resist a siren song! On January 5, the comedian attended Broadway's Almost Famous with his friend Lin-Manuel Miranda and writer Cameron Crowe, two months after Crowe urged Fallon to reprise his role from the original 2000 film onstage.
While Fallon opted out of playing fugitive manager Dennis Hope, he did take to the stage after star Casey Likes rocketed into the audience at bows to pull him into the cast lineup. Fallon's presence was met with cheers from the sold-out crowd ahead of the musical's final performance, January 8.
Said Fallon: “I hadn’t seen the movie Almost Famous since our premiere 20 years ago. I still can’t believe I was in the movie and went by myself to the Broadway performance, so I could go back in time, study all the actors and watch Jakeim Hart deliver my lines like they were supposed to be delivered. Every line in this show is brilliant. I was trying not to get emotional, but I kept thinking Cameron Crowe is a genius. At intermission, an usher wanted to make sure the seat next to me was empty and told me someone would be sitting next to me for the second act. And then they lead this person to the aisle seat. It was Cameron. He watched the whole second act with me—the scenes that my character was in. That was special. That was emotional. That is Cameron.”
Take a look at photos of Fallon with the company below.
When it closes, Almost Famous will have played 30 preview performances and 77 performances. Despite the closure, the show will live on in cast album form; the album will be released March 17. The producers also told The New York Times that they hope to tour the show.
Set in 1973, Almost Famous follows a 15-year-old aspiring music journalist who Rolling Stone hires to go on tour with an up-and-coming rock band. Crowe won an Oscar for his semi-autobiographical screenplay chronicling his own time as a young journalist with The Allman Brothers Band and Led Zeppelin.
The cast also features Solea Pfeiffer as groupie Penny Lane, Chris Wood as the band's guitarist Russell Hammond, Casey Likes as teen writer William Miller, Tony nominee Anika Larsen as William's mother Elaine, Drew Gehling as the band's lead singer Jeff Bebe, and Rob Colletti as journalist Lester Bangs.
The cast also includes Matt Bittner, Chad Burris, Gerard Canonico, Julia Cassandra, Brandon Contreras, Jakeim Hart, Van Hughes, Jana Djenne Jackson, Katie Ladner, Danny Lindgren, Erica Mansfield, Alisa Melendez, Kevin Perdido, Andrew Poston, Emily Schultheis, Daniel Sovich, Libby Winters, and Matthew C. Yee.
Almost Famous is directed by Tony nominee Jeremy Herrin and features a book and lyrics by Crowe and music and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer winner Tom Kitt.
The creative team includes choreographer Sarah O'Gleby, music supervisor Bryan Perri, scenic designer Derek McLane, costume designer David Zinn, lighting designer Natasha Katz, sound designer Peter Hylenski, hair and makeup designer Luc Verschueren, and physical movement coordinator Lorenzo Pisoni. Kitt has penned arrangements and orchestrations, and vocal design will be by AnnMarie Milazzo. The production is cast by Jim Carnahan.