The Who’s Tommy at Stevens

2/12/2009:

See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal me.

Do something different in Hoboken – check out The Theater Company’s rendition of The Who’s “Tommy” – which kicks off this weekend at DeBaun Auditorium (5th and Hudson), and runs three consecutive weekends through March 1st, 2009.

See show times and more after the jump!

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Read more about it after the jump…

(The Who’s Tommy in Hoboken, continued…)

DeBaun Center for Performing Arts is proud to present The Theater Company’s production of The Who’s Tommy. This is the third production during the 10th Anniversary season for DeBaun Center. The show will run for three consecutive weekends on February 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28, 2009 at 8 p.m. and February 15, 22 & March 1, 2009 at 3 p.m. at DeBaun Auditorium, Edwin A. Stevens Hall, 5th & Hudson Sts. in Hoboken, NJ.

The Who’s Tommy is a rock musical based on The Who’s 1969 double album rock opera “Tommy” where, after witnessing the accidental murder of his mother’s lover by his father, Tommy is traumatized into catatonia, and as the boy grows, he suffers abuse at the hands of his sadistic relatives and neighbors. As an adolescent, he’s discovered to have an uncanny knack for playing pinball, and when his mother finally breaks through his catatonia, he becomes an international pinball superstar.

The show’s music and lyrics are by Pete Townshend, with book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff and additional music by John Entwistle and Keith Moon. It premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on April 22, 1993, and closed on June 17, 1995, after 899 performances. The Who’s Tommy garnered 1993 Tony Awards for Best Original Score, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical.

The Theater Company’s production of The Who’s Tommy is directed and choreographed by Billy Mitchell, 5-time director at DeBaun Center for Performing Arts. Unlike most traditional musicals, The Who’s Tommy is a rock opera; meaning the show is almost non-stop music, either from the orchestra or sung, with very few spoken lines. Mitchell explains the difference between a rock opera and a traditional musical by saying, “The general conceit in traditional musicals is that characters break into song because they can no longer contain their emotions, so when the entire show is rock songs with essentially no dialogue to provide a lull in the emotion, that indicates a high level of passion. Sustaining that energy & passion is a lot like running a 2-hour marathon for the cast, because they are continuously engaged in performing the story and maintaining the tone and dramatic tension at a heightened level.” “The goal is to have the entire cast visible throughout the whole performance, and to sustain a rock & roll atmosphere and energy to do the songs justice, while also clearly communicating the story,” explains Mitchell.

In order to make this a unique presentation, Mitchell decided not to cast children to portray the young Tommys but has two modeled “child” stand-ins to represent Tommy physically at younger ages, which will be equipped with remote cameras so on stage screens will display what Tommy “sees” as a child. So, in addition to the performance of the story of Tommy and a rock concert of the The Who’s songs, audiences will be exposed to a mixed media of live singers and projected (live & pre-recorded) imagery along with the on-stage “behind-the-scenes” aspect of seeing all of the people, parts & pieces it takes to perform the show.

Mitchell is joined by Liz Gerbi as the Musical Director for The Who’s Tommy. Gerbi is returning to The Theater Company after previous productions of Free to Be…You and Me, Seussical, Schoolhouse Rock Live! and Dreamgirls. These two directors lead the talented ensemble cast, which includes Christopher Ayres, Brendan Joel Bartlett, Emily Beatty, Keith Berg, Noah Brendemuehl, Jose Candelaria, Bridget B. Dunn, Jenny Fersch, Erin Flanagan, Robert Gonzales Jr., Samantha Gutterman, Phil Haas, Ricky Dain Jones, Erin M. Kenny, Liza Miller, Fred Mursch, Liza Poor, Elysia Segal, Nicole Spano, Joey Taranto, Camberley Torres, Adena Weisholtz and Laura Yoder. For cast and director biographies and pictures, please visit the show’s webpage at www.stevens.edu/thetheatercompany/Tommy.html.

The February 14 performance will be open captioned, which is made possible by The New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in partnership with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

Tickets for The Who’s Tommy are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, and $15 for children under 12. DeBaun Center is offering its ever popular Dinner & Show Package with this production, which for $45 per person, includes admission to the show and dinner at Court Street Restaurant & Bar (gratuity and drinks not included). Discover Jersey Arts members can present their membership card and receive a “buy one ticket, get another ticket free” on Friday evening performances or a 20% discount off the ticket price for all other performances. To purchase tickets online, visit DeBaun Center’s ticketing site at www.debauntickets.org. To make reservations, contact DeBaun Center’s Box Office at 201-216-8937 or BoxOffice@debaun.org.

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3 Comments on "The Who’s Tommy at Stevens"

the rayman
Member
the rayman

My daughter and I saw this last week, and it was really great! Great use of combining projections and live actors.
There’s some great shots of it here-

facebook.com/pages/Hoboken-NJ/DeBau...ter-for-Performing-Arts/46995709033

Red Haven
Member
Red Haven

LOL. There’s a big difference between the pinball wizard and the Johnny-5 robot from Short Circuit, though both have such a supple wrist.

LearninHob
Member
LearninHob

Is that similar to “Who’s Johnny” by El Debarge?

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