Born from the spiritual awakening of Pete Townshend and a joke about a comedy album, “The Who’s Tommy” was conceptualized as the first “rock opera.” The Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts is thrilled to present the popular production written by Townshend, who is principally recognized as the guitarist for the 1960s/1970s British rock sensation The Who, along with famed Broadway director Des McAnuff.
“The Who’s Tommy” is a story of youthful frustration and a boy finding himself amongst the dark world around him. In post-World War II Britain, a young Tommy witnesses the murder of his mother’s boyfriend at the hand of his father. Having been told to deny witnessing the traumatic event, Tommy reverts into himself and seems blind, deaf, and mute at times. His parents become frustrated with his continued catatonic state; he is abused by a relative, and bullied by teenagers. Yet, he is abruptly catapulted into sudden fame and unwarranted adulation after discovering that, though seemingly insensate, he has a deft hand at the game of pinball; this scene features the Top 40 hit song “Pinball Wizard,” which also sealed the deal for production of the musical.
The shows will take place at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St., and will run from Thur., Nov. 7 through Sun., Nov. 10, 2013, with a second run Thurs. Nov. 14 through Sun., Nov. 17, 2013. Show times will be at 7:30 p.m. except the Sunday shows at 3 p.m. only. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Partial season subscriptions are available. Purchase tickets online or by calling (843) 953-5604.
Theatre professor Mark Landis, also a fan of The Who, will direct the multi-faceted production. College of Charleston alumnus Corey Webb is the musical director. Kristin Alexander is the choreographer for the production.