Twenty years after its Broadway premiere, TOMMY returns to the stage in a new production helmed by its co-creator and original director, Des McAnuff. This spectacular return of the Tony-Award® winning musical opened at the Stratford Festival in May 2013 and extended there for five months. A technical marvel, the new TOMMY features massive LED screens and extraordinary automated set pieces that light up, explode, spin and tilt.
“Working on a show like TOMMY is a revelation of just how far we have come in such a short time in this digital age,” says Mr. McAnuff, who won a Tony Award® for directing the original production. “We are able to do things visually and in sound that we could never have dreamed of before. We have done our very best to rethink the visual storytelling while at the same time being careful to maintain the integrity of the story we all believe in so passionately.”
Created by The Who’s Pete Townshend and Mr. McAnuff, this is the story of a young man who loses his sight, hearing and speech upon witnessing a traumatic act of violence as a child. When he reveals an uncanny talent for the game of pinball, however, he finds himself at the center of a celebrity cult. Based on The Who’s 1969 concept album Tommy, the production features such unforgettable hits as “Pinball Wizard,” “See Me, Feel Me,” “Acid Queen,” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
The new production reunites key members of the original Tony-Award® winning team, including Choreographer Wayne Cilento, Set Designer John Arnone and Costume Designer David C. Woolard.
Here’s what Frank Rich of the New York Times had to say about TOMMY when it first appeared on Broadway in 1993:
“TOMMY…is at long last the authentic rock musical that has eluded Broadway for two generations. A collaboration of its original principal author, Pete Townshend, and the director, Des McAnuff, this show is not merely an entertainment juggernaut, riding at full tilt on the visual and musical highs of its legendary pinball iconography and irresistible tunes, but also a surprisingly moving resuscitation of the disturbing passions that made Tommy an emblem of its era…Full of feeling and creative dazzle and so free of the heavy spectacle of most American and British musicals, TOMMY is the stunning surprise that has at long last brought this Broadway season to life. No wonder that for two hours it makes the world seem young.”