Joni Mitchell has rarely appeared in public since battling health issues in 2015, but in the last year she’s begun venturing out yet again. Recently, she’s attended her peers’ concerts, including shows featuring James Taylor and Debbie Harry — and her own star-studded 75th birthday tribute concert. This past Friday, she attended the premiere for the Almost Famous musical at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater in support of her old friend Cameron Crowe.
“It was an incredible honor and a surprise to most of the cast that Joni was there for opening night,” Crowe tells Rolling Stone. “She owned the room, offstage and on, especially when Casey and Solea [who played William and Penny] sang their version of her classic song ‘River’ in the play.”
The musical will run in San Diego through October 27th; Crowe himself grew up in that city, as well as William Miller, the semi-autobiographical teenage Rolling Stone writer depicted in the 2000 film by Patrick Fugit. The musical features 20 new original songs, co-written by Crowe and composer Tom Kitt, and many tracks from the film, including “River.”
Crowe wrote the 1979 Rolling Stone cover story on Mitchell and has maintained a close relationship with he over the years. “Later, at the after party, when she met Casey, who plays the young journalist, he spilled most of his Coke on her shoes,” Crow said. “She laughed. ‘No problem, Cameron has done the same to me many times!'”
On October 22nd, Mitchell will release Morning Glory on the Vine, a rare book of watercolor paintings, poems and handwritten lyrics that she gifted to friends in 1971. The original artwork for her 1968 debut Song to a Seagull is currently for sale by the owners who purchased it more than 50 years ago. According to Mitchell’s website, the current offer is $30,000.