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The Who's Tommy

Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon
Directed by Sam Buntrock
Apr 21 - May 27, 2018
Run Time: Approximately one hour and 35 minutes with no intermission.
Ticket Price: Starting at $30. Prices vary by date and availability.
Age Recommendation: 14+ for adult content, including language, violence, and sexual content
Advisory: Strobe lights and haze used throughout; live simulated gunshots occur in the musical numbers "Twenty-One" and the Underture; limited out-of-date terminology included that may be offensive to some guests.

Based on The Who’s iconic 1969 rock concept album, Tommy is an exhilarating musical about the challenges of self-discovery and the resilience of the human spirit. When young Tommy retreats into a world of darkness and silence after a deeply traumatic incident, he must navigate a harsh and unforgiving world with no hope of recovery. But when he discovers a newfound talent for pinball, he’s swept up in the fame and fortune of his success. Tommy and his family give new voice to The Who’s classic stadium rock as they navigate the troubles and joys of being alive.

The Who are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, and together with La Jolla Playhouse’s then-Artistic Director Des McAnuff, they wrote the Tony Award-winning Tommy. Director Sam Buntrock has been nominated for Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk awards for his innovative work in theatre, film and animation. His edgy style was last seen on our stage when he directed Frankenstein in 2016, and he will reunite with Frankenstein Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood for this musical.

Producing Partners: Kristin and Jim Bender, Ruth Krebs and Peter Mannetti

For select performances of The Who’s Tommy, the Theatre Company is continuing to test a new system to greatly expand our services for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing: Personal Closed Captioning Devices.

Each device is handheld and configured with closed captioning software, enabling users to enjoy private captioning services in any seating location. These devices will be available at all public performances May 4 - 27, and may be reserved in advance while purchasing tickets (subject to availability). Simply follow the instructions in the pop-up box while buying online or request the service from your box office agent while purchasing on the phone or at the counter.

Cast Perspectives
Cast Perspectives
Apr 29 | 1:30pm

Join a fun and engaging discussion with the actors after the matinee.

Theatre & Theology Perspectives
Theatre & Theology Perspectives
May 1 | 6:30pm

Join Pastor Dan Bollman of the Rocky Mountain Evangelical Lutheran Synod to examine each show through a theological lens.

Higher Education Perspectives
Higher Education Perspectives
May 6 | 1:30pm

Participate in a topical discussion led by members of our academic community after the matinee.

Accessible Matinee
Accessible Matinee
May 6 | 1:30pm

To buy tickets for any accessible performance, select the appropriate code noted below for the services you require. For optimal service, call the box office at 303.893.4100.

Sign Language interpretation: ASL
Audio Description: AUDIO
Open Captioned: OCAP

Learn more about other access services

Theatre Thursday
Theatre Thursday
May 17 | 5:30pm

Helen Bonfils Lobby

Theatre Thursdays are a new, fun way to make your night at the theatre even more memorable. Enjoy festive pre-show parties including a cocktail and live music. Even better? It’s all included with your show ticket, for a special price with promo code THURSDAY.

Audio Described Performance
Audio Described Performance
May 18 | 7:30pm
Free with admission

To buy tickets for any accessible performance, select the appropriate code noted below. For optimal service, call the box office at 303.893.4100 or TTY 303.893.9582.

Audio Description promo code: AUDIO

Check back soon for photos and videos of The Who's Tommy. Head over to our blog for news, reviews, photos and videos of other DCPA shows and events.

Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend, Book, Music and Lyrics

Pete Townshend was a member of The Who from 1962-82; the group's first recording was in 1964. He has written hundreds of songs, many of which have been chart hits. He has written and composed several major collections that have won international recognition; Tommy is the best known. Awarded the Ivor Novello Award by his songwriter peers in 1981 and the British Phonograph Industry Award in 1983 for service to the British music industry. In 1990, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He has been nominated for two Grammys and an Academy Award (for the Tommy film score). He has most recently been honored with the 1993 Tony Award for Best Original Score for Tommy on Broadway. Recordings with The Who (1965-82): My Generation; Who's Next; Tommy and Quadrophenia (rock operas). Solo (1980-89): Empty Glass, Chinese Eyes, White City (with long-form video), Iron Man (songs for a musical based on Ted Hughes' original story. Publications: The Story of Tommy (with Richard Barnes) and Horse's Neck. Active as a songwriter, performer and producer, he continues to work as an editor at Faber and Faber, which he joined in 1983. Married, with three children, he lives in Twickenham, England.

Des McAnuff
Des McAnuff, Book
Des McAnuff received Tony Awards for his Broadway stagings of Big River (1985) and The Who's Tommy (1993). He directed Lee Blessings's A Walk in the Woods on Broadway in 1988 and in Moscow and Lithuania in 1989-90. He is Director-in-Residence of the La Jolla Playhouse where he was Artistic Director from its 1983 revival until 1994, during which time the theatre won more than 200 awards for excellence. For the Playhouse, he directed Romeo and Juliet, A Mad World, My Masters, Big River, As You Like It, The Seagull, The Matchmaker, A Walk in the Woods, Two Rooms, 80 Days, Macbeth, A Funny Thing Happened...Forum, Twelfth Night, Three Sisters, Elmer Gantry, Much Ado About Nothing, The Who's Tommy and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. McAnuff's play, Leave It to Beaver Is Dead, was produced in Toronto and NY City, where it received the SoHo Arts Award. A co-founder of the Dodgers, he directed its first production, Gimme Shelter (SoHo Arts Award), as well as Mary Stuart and How It All Began, when the theatre moved to the NYSF. McAnuff staged Henry IV, Part I for Joseph Papp in Central Park and was awarded a Rockefeller grant for his play, The Death of Von Richthofen as Witnessed From Earth, which he directed at the Public Theater (SoHo Villager Award). He has directed for the American Rep Theatre at Harvard, Yale Rep and Stratford Festival of Canada and is a former faculty member of the Juilliard School. McAnuff is married to actress Susan Berman and they are the proud parents of Julia Violet.
John Entwistle
John Entwistle, Additional Music and Lyrics
John Alec Entwistle (October 9, 1944 - June 27, 2002) was the bass guitar player for The Who. He was born in Chiswick, a London suburb, in 1944. He joined Roger Daltrey in a pre-Who band, The Detours, in the early 1960s. He wrote several well-known Who songs including: “Cousin Kevin,” “My Wife,” “Boris The Spider,” “Heaven and Hell.” Entwistle also contributed many backing vocals and horn performances to the group. In addition to his work with the Who, Entwistle was an accomplished solo artist, releasing a number of solo albums beginning in the 1970s. Entwistle's contribution to rock bass playing was to create a driving lead role for the instrument. Entwistle identified his influences as a combination of twangy rock & roll guitarists such as Duane Eddy and Gene Vincent, American soul and R&B bassists such as James Jamerson, and his school training on French horn, trumpet, and piano. John Entwistle died in 2002 in Las Vegas, on the eve of the first show in a US tour by The Who. Solo Discography: Smash Your Head Against the Wall, Whistle Rymes, Rigor Mortis Sets In, Mad Dog, Too Late the Hero, The Rock, King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents In Concert, Left For Live.
Keith Moon
Keith Moon, Additional Music and Lyrics
Keith John Moon (August 23, 1946 - September 7, 1978) was the drummer of the rock group The Who. He is considered one of the most unusual and original drummers in rock and roll. His unorthodox and highly flamboyant style was only surpassed by his inate rhythmic sense. Contemporary drummers such as Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, and John Bonham could all point to him as a major influence, and Moon's anarchic, out-of-control style remains an influence on popular music today. Although his work with The Who dominated Moon's career, he participated in a few minor side projects. In 1966, he teamed up with Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck and future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to record an instrumental, "Beck's Bolero", released as a single later that year. In 1974 he released his first and only solo album, a collection of pop covers entitled Two Sides of the Moon
Sam Buntrock
Sam Buntrock, Director
At the Theatre Company: Frankenstein; Ed, Downloaded by Michael Mitnick. Other Theatres: Sunday in the Park With George (Broadway, West End, Menier and 5th Avenue Seattle-Tony Nomination), The Wildness (Ars Nova), Turn of the Screw at BAM (New York City Opera), The Rocky Horror Show (European Tour since 2008), the World Premiere of John Guare’s Are You There, McPhee? and Travesties (both McCarter), The A to Z of Mrs P (Southwark Playhouse), Much Ado About Nothing (Two River), A Maze (NYSF), Cradle and All (MTC), Take Flight (Menier and McCarter).
The Who's Tommy
The Who's Tommy, Cast & Crew
The Who's Tommy
The Who's Tommy, Cast & Crew
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