Almost 20 years after its last UK production, The Who’s Tommy will play a limited run at Greenwich Theatre this summer (29 July to 23 August, press night is 31 July), marking the 40th anniversary of the original film and the 50th anniversary of The Who.
Based on the iconic 1969 double-album rock opera, which later became a film of the same title, The Who’s Tommy is a musical about hope, healing, and the human spirit.
After witnessing the accidental murder of his mother’s lover by his father, Tommy is traumatised into catatonia, and as the boy grows, he suffers abuse at the hands of his sadistic relatives and neighbours. But as an adolescent, he is discovered to have an uncanny knack for playing pinball, a talent that breaks through his catatonia and puts him on the path to international superstardom. The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over his adversities has inspired aaudiences for more than 40 years.
The five-time Tony Award, four-time Drama Desk Award and three-time Olivier Award-winning musical was translated to the stage by director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) and The Who’s Pete Townshend into a high-energy, one-of-a-kind theatrical event. This brand new production, the first UK revival in 19 years, will mark the 40th anniversary of the original film and the 50th anniversary of The Who.
The Who’s Tommy has music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and book by Townshend and Des McAnuff, with additional music and lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon. It is staged and directed by award-winning director Michael Strassen with musical direction by Kevin Oliver Jones. It is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Guy James, and Ilai Szpiezak for Szpiezak Productions in association with Greenwich Theatre, by special arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited on behalf of Music Theatre International of New York.
Casting is to be announced.
Michael Strassen’s directing credits at the Union Theatre include: Pacific Overtures, Season’s Greetings, the first London revival of Billy (Best Director/Off West End Awards 2014), Call Me Madam, The Fix, The Baker’s Wife and Godspell, Assassins (Best Production/Off-West End Awards) and Company.
Other credits include: Lucky Numbers (Customs House, Tyneside), S&S Awards (St James Theatre), An Intimate Evening with Ruthie Henshall (Hippodrome, London), The Inspiration Awards 2010 – 2013 (Cadagon Hall, London and Royce Hall, Los Angeles), The Wit and Whimsy of Alexander S. Bermange (St James’ Theatre Studio), Pineapple Dance Studios Finale (O2 Indigo), The Attic (Workshop/Theatre Royal, Haymarket), co-musical supervisor on the film The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Company (C Venues/Edinburgh Festival), The Pitchfork Disney (Philip Ridley/The Mill Studio, Yvonne Arnaud) and Ruthie Henshall at The Royal Festival Hall.