Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Who's Tommy Plays at CRT

J.J. Mullin as Four Year Old Tommy with Jon Conver as Tommy in Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s production of The Who’s Tommy running through May 1 in the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre, Storrs. For tickets and information call 860-486-4226 or visit http://www.crt.uconn.edu/. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.

About the play:
“See me. Feel me. Touch me.”

Book by Pete Townshend & Des McAnuff
Additional Music & Lyrics by John Entwistle & Keith Moon
Based on The Who's Rock-Opera, Tommy

Young Tommy witnesses a violent crime and is rendered deaf, dumb and blind. Tommy's incredible transformation from catatonia to stardom as a pinball celebrity is told through The Who's immortal songs including "Pinball Wizard," "See Me, Feel Me," "Listening to You" and "We're Not Gonna Take It."

Audiences follow the story through the eyes of the title character who undergoes the heartbreaking and triumphant journey of a young boy stripped of his youth by violence and abuse. The CRT production will employ a variety of elements including liquid projections, an oversized pinball machine, and a style of puppetry known as shadow play (produced by UConn’s world class puppet artists). Tommy is a striking, rousing, rock opera that touches the heart and excites the senses. The cast includes two Equity actors alongside CRT’s advanced student artists. A full rock combo will support the singers, actors, and dancers.

Director Gabe Barre said, "I'm thrilled to be back at Connecticut Repertory Theatre directing Tommy and exploring another rich piece from the 1960's after doing Hair here last year. Hair was ground breaking theatre that explored the world of a tribe of hippies on the streets of New York and the world around them, while Tommy is groundbreaking rock and roll that explores the life of a superstar onstage and the world within him. Our production will emphasize the idea of enlightenment through the senses, through stillness and through music ... We will be inside Tommy's head and see, feel and touch the world as he does ... This is what live theatre can do that no other medium can ... reach out ... engage and invigorate. Enlarge, enliven and enlighten.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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