A staged concert of The Who’s Tommy is presented October 14 at La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre. Proceeds benefit the artistic, education, and outreach programs at the regional company, where the 1993 Broadway musical originated.
Helmed by Playhouse Director Emeritus and Tommy director and co-book writer Des McAnuff, the staged concert features several members of the original Tommy Broadway cast as well as a special guest appearance by Pete Townshend, Tommy composer-lyricist, co-book writer, and principal creator.
Scheduled to perform are original cast members two-time Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (Fun Home) as Tommy, Jonathan Dokuchitz as Captain Walker and The Specialist, Cheryl Freeman as Gypsy Queen, Tony winner Christian Hoff (Jersey Boys) as 2nd Pinball Lad, Paul Kandel as Uncle Ernie, Donnie Kehr as 1st Pinball Lad, Michael McElroy as The Hawker, Lee Morgan as Harmonica Player, and Tony winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal) as Mrs. Walker.
The cast also includes Noah Baird as Tommy age 10, Thom Nemer as Tommy age 4, Paul Alexander Nolan (Slave Play, Escape to Margaritaville) as Cousin Kevin, and Jennifer Rider-Shaw as Sally Simpson, along with ensemble members James Royce Edwards, Melissa Hoff, Jolie Jenkins, Robert Markus, Kürt Norby, Rachel Peterson, David Price, Anise E. Ritchie, Melissa Strom, and Cody Walker.
Based on The Who’s 1969 rock concept album, the musical follows young Tommy, who retreats into a world of darkness and silence after a deeply traumatic incident, but when he discovers a newfound talent for pinball, he’s swept up in the fame and fortune of his success.
Visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org for tickets and additional information.