The Who co-founder Pete Townshend celebrates his birthday May 19. In honor of the musician, Playbill is taking a look back at his musical The Who’s Tommy on Broadway.
The Who’s Tommy opened at the St. James Theatre April 22, 1993. The production, directed by Des McAnuff (who co-wrote the book) with choreography by Wayne Cilento, played 27 previews and 899 performances before closing June 17, 1995. The musical would go on to garner 11 Tony Award nominations, winning five including Best Original Score for Townshend.
The Who's Tommy tells the story of deaf and mute boy who becomes a world-famous Pinball Wizard and the leader of a cult of devotees. As previously reported, a new production of the musical is slated to open on Broadway in 2021, directed by McAnuff.
Broadway's 1993 production of The Who’s Tommy featured Michael Cerveris as Tommy alongside Norm Lewis, Alice Ripley, Michael McElroy, Sherie Rene Scott, Crysta Macalush, Carly Jane Steinborn, Buddy Smith, Jonathan Dokuchitz, Anthony Barrile, Paul Kandel, Marcia Mitzman, Cheryl Freeman, Michael Arnold, Bill Buell, Maria Calabrese, Tracy Nicole Chapman, Paul Dobie, Tom Flynn, Jody Gelb, Christian Hoff, Donnie Kehr, Pam Klinger, Lisa Leguillou, Lee Morgan, and Timothy Warmen.
The Who’s Tommy features music and lyrics by Townshend, a book co-written by Townshend and McAnuff; as well as additional music and lyrics by The Who's John Entwistle and Keith Moon.
The Broadway production featured scenic design by John Arnone, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Chris Parry, and sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy with stage management by Frank Hartenstein, Karen Armstrong, Kelly A. Martindale, and Jill Larmet. For the complete cast and creative team, visit PlaybillVault.com/TheWhosTommy.