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Broadway gearing up for a 2021 return of 'The Who's Tommy'

Written by on October 22, 2019

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Walter McBride / Contributor

Rolling Stone reports that Who fans will have a second chance at catching the five-time Tony Award winning rock musical The Who’s Tommy: It’s headed back to Broadway in 2021.  The musical is an adaptation of the band’s 1969 album Tommy.  

The musical Tommy Walker, who becomes deaf, dumb, and blind after suffering a trauma in his youth, and then evolves into a cult leader after mastering the art of pinball.

The musical first opened in 1993 and closed two years later.  However, fans who caught the original run will notice a different story line this time. Director Des McAnuff announced he retooled the musical for modern audiences.

McAnuff explained, “Tommy combines myth and spectacle in a way that truly soars. The key question with any musical is ‘Does the story sing?’ and this one most certainly does.”

“Tommy is the antihero ground zero. He is the boy who not only rejects adulthood like Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, but existence itself. He becomes lost in the universe as he stares endlessly and obsessively into the mirror at his own image,” he adds.

“This gives our story a powerful resonance today as it seems like the whole world is staring into the black mirror. The story of Tommy exists all too comfortably in the 21st century. In fact, time may finally have caught up to Tommy Walker.”

In addition to the musical, The Who’s Tommy inspired a 1971 rock opera and a 1975 movie.  That film featured an all-star cast: Roger DaltreyElton JohnEric ClaptonJack NicholsonTina Turner, and Ann-Margret.

Tickets for the reinterpreted The Who’s Tommy are not yet available, but fans can visit the musical’s official website to subscribe and “be the first to know.”

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