Be a Pinball Wizard and play the silver ball at ‘The Who’s Tommy’
The Who’s Tommy,” the tale of a boy’s journey from pain to triumph has been called “the most electrifying evening of rock and roll ever to play in a theater,” will serve as the explosive kick off to CenterStage’s 2015-16 Season, July 9-19.
“The Who’s Tommy,” in its original form was a landmark, multi-million copy selling concept album recorded in 1969. It was written and composed by The Who’s legendary guitarist Pete Townshend, one of the most influential songwriters of the last 30 years. “Tommy” broke ground as one of the first rock operas, changing the way we listen to an album and inspiring latter classics like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage. The format was borrowed by Andrew Lloyd Weber; his musicals “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita” were originally released as rock opera albums.
Adapted for the stage by Townshend and Tony Award-winning director, Des McAnuff, “The Who’s Tommy,” winner of five Tony awards, opened on Broadway to rave reviews in 1993. Set in Britain between the end of World War II and the 1960s Tommy chronicles the adventures of Tommy Walker, who withdraws from the world following a traumatic experience in early childhood. While in his catatonia-like condition, Tommy demonstrates an extraordinary ability to play pinball. Eventually he re-emerges from his inner world, becomes a charismatic, “Pinball Wizard” and is turned into an unwilling hero who must live up to the demands of his followers. But is Tommy ready for super-stardom?
“I remember seeing ‘Tommy’ for the first time when the Broadway tour came through Louisville. It blew my mind so much, I came back two days later to see it again. I also had the good fortune to see it again on Broadway in its closing weekend,” Artistic Director John Leffert said. “This show is pure energy from the first downbeat to the last. The music, story and spectacle combine creating an electric theatrical experience that is difficult to match. It truly will blow your mind. I know it did mine.”
At each performance, CenterStage will collect money to benefit Childhelp, an organization against child abuse that has prevention, intervention and treatment programs.
Michael Detmer, who is new to CenterStage, is Tommy; Josh Gilliam, who played Javert in “Les Misérables” will play Mr. Walker; Jessica Adamson, a long-time company member will play Mrs. Walker. Adamson has had roles in “Oklahoma!,” “Brigadoon,” “RENT,” and “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
Fulfilling Townshend’s prophetic lyric, “the crowd went crazy when Tommy hit the stage,” “The Who’s Tommy” is a masterpiece of contemporary American musical theater.
July 9-19, 2015
CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center, 3600 Dutchman’s Lane, Louisville, KY 40205
Cost: Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door.
About CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center:
For 100 years, CenterStage has provided a venue for professional quality theatre with broad cultural appeal. CenterStage offers a premier musical theater experience for the whole community, while also providing opportunities for children, adults and seniors to participate directly in all aspects of theatre – acting, singing, dancing, set and costume construction, marketing, education and more. Audiences and cast members are racially, culturally and religiously diverse, representing the community at large.
Inspired by Artistic Director John R. Leffert, each season CenterStage embarks on ambitious productions of popular Broadway shows with visually stunning sets and costumes, amazing talent and music that will move you. Our mission is to provide consistent quality theater to patrons, and present works of Jewish interest with broad cultural appeal. Sell-out audiences tell us that we’re honoring that tradition and creating a new generation of theatre-goers.
For more information or to purchase tickets call 502-238-2709 or visit CenterStageJCC.org