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The Who's 'Tommy' Hits the Stage

Pete Townshend’s rock opera staged at Josephine Louis Theater

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February 15, 2010 | by Judy Moore
Video produced by Brendan Cosgrove and Matt Paolelli

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Legendary guitarist Pete Townshend's award-winning and electrifying rock opera takes to the stage when "The Who's Tommy" is presented by the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University.

The second winter production in TIC's inaugural Masters-in-the-Making Series, "The Who's Tommy" performances will take place on the University's Evanston campus at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive.

Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18; 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19; 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21; 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25; 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26; 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28; 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3; 8 p.m. Thursday, March 4; 2 p.m. Saturday, March 6; and 8 p.m. Sunday, March 7.

With music and lyrics by Townshend and book by Townshend and Des McAnuff, the show will feature a rock-concert staging by Jeff-nominated Geoff Button. Button is a third-year master of fine arts (MFA) student in the Northwestern School of Communication's directing program.

Originally released in 1969, the album "Tommy" chronicles the life of a young man forever altered by a terrible act of violence. The rock opera follows an incommunicative boy into self-realization and manhood.

"Anyone who has ever listened to ‘Tommy' has experienced a connection with it," said Button. "Northwestern's production will let audiences interpret the rock opera in different ways while providing access to a cathartic, beautiful and universal story."

A rock band of seven student, staff and professional musicians will perform more than 30 songs, including "Pinball Wizard," "Acid Queen," "Tommy Can You Hear Me?" and "I'm Free." The cast includes 18 Northwestern students as well as two child performers who play the 4- and 10-year-old Tommy.

Single tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Single tickets may be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.

Topics: Campus Life