Gotta feeling ’24 is gonna be a superb yr, at the very least for followers of The Who’s Tommy: The acclaimed Chicago stage manufacturing directed by Des McAnuff is heading to Broadway.
The newly reimagined manufacturing, produced by Stephen Gabriel and Ira Pittelman, will start previews March 8, 2024, on the Nederlander Theatre, with a gap evening set for March 28.
In an announcement, Pete Townshend, who wrote the music, lyrics and co-wrote the e book with McAnuff, mentioned, “In 1969, after I initially wrote Tommy with The Who, no person had ever written fashionable music songs about trauma, no person talked about bullying, home sexual abuse was a topic that was nearly censored.
“Then, in 1993,” he continued, “working with Des on the staged theatre piece, we broke the established rules for a musical show. Now, the current generation is breaking all of those rules again – and what Des has achieved with this incredible new production honors them and their courage and audacity. I can’t wait to see how this newly empowered show connects with younger Broadway audiences today. I hope the younger ones come, for they will identify in an entirely new and important way with Tommy’s tumultuous life. Meanwhile, longtime fans of Tommy, The Who and all their music will be blown away by this new show.”
After its opening in June at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, the revival received 9 of town’s Joseph Jefferson “Jeff” Awards and have become the best grossing manufacturing within the Goodman’s historical past. The Chicago engagement ran from June 13 to August 6.
Broadway casting for The Who’s Tommy will probably be introduced quickly.
The musical initially ran on Broadway from 1993 to 1995, following a premiere on the La Jolla Playhouse.
“In many ways, I think the world has caught up to Tommy Walker,” McAnuff, who additionally directed the unique manufacturing, mentioned in an announcement, “which makes it exciting to revisit The Who’s Tommy for a new generation who, possibly more than any other, has a broad appetite for all kinds of music and story-telling.”
McAnuff continued, “While the music remains as glorious as ever, our world years later is unimaginably and irrevocably changed. As a result, there’s so much more we all can recognize – and celebrate – in our protagonist’s evolution, as a collective deeper understanding of mental health has sharpened our lens. Tommy Walker’s triumph over devastating childhood trauma, to enlightened leadership, to ultimately recognizing the folly in which he’s surrounded himself is an ‘Amazing Journey’ to discover anew.”
The brand new manufacturing’s artistic crew consists of choreographer Lorin Latarro (Into the Woods); music supervision and extra preparations by Ron Melrose (Jersey Boys); musical path and extra orchestrations by Rick Fox (Lease); set design by David Korins (Right here Lies Love ); projection design by Peter Nigrini (Right here Lies Love, MJ); costume design by Sarafina Bush (for coloured ladies…, Cross Over); lighting design by Amanda Zieve (Broadway affiliate on Escape to Margaritaville); sound design by Gareth Owen (Again to the Future); and wig and hair design by Charles LaPointe (Hamilton).
“Being asked to join the creative team of Tommy is a dream come true,” mentioned choreographer Latarro. “It’s the OG rock musical. Des and Pete are visionaries.” She added that she is “focused on creating a contemporary movement vocabulary that feels like it could be from any era. I am interested in pushing story inside the dances, and still building to dance breaks that have high velocity.”
Stated producer Gabriel and Pittelman, “It is an honor and privilege to bring Tommy to New York. We’re looking forward to sharing this unique new production with the countless fans who have loved Tommy through the years and to introducing the iconic rock opera to the next generation of theatergoers.”
The musical’s official synopsis: “After witnessing his father shoot his rival, the young Tommy Walker is lost in the universe, endlessly and obsessively staring into the mirror. An innate knack for pinball catapults him from reticent adolescent to celebrity savior.”
The Who’s 1969 double-album not solely popularized the idea of a rock opera but in addition launched a slate of songs to the basic rock canon: “I’m Free,” “See Me, Feel Me,” “Sensation,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Amazing Journey,” “Tommy, Can You Hear Me?,” “The Acid Queen,” “I’m Free,” “Twenty-One” / “What About the Boy?” and others.
A 1975 movie adaptation, directed by Ken Russell, starred The Who’s Roger Daltrey as Tommy and featured Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret, Elton John because the Pinball Wizard and Tina Turner because the Acid Queen.
The 1993 Broadway manufacturing of The Who’s Tommy starred Michael Cerveris as Tommy, and the 2023 Goodman manufacturing featured Ali Louis Bourzgui within the function. The Chicago manufacturing of the musical included some script revisions to the ’93 model, a rewrite of some lyrics to the music “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the elimination of the music “Tommy’s Holiday Camp.”