As previously announced, a new interpretation of The Who’s Tommy is slated to return to Broadway in 2021, helmed by the musical’s original director Des McAnuff. The staging aims to be "a reinvention aimed directly at today," McAnuff said. "[Tommy] becomes lost in the universe as he stares endlessly and obsessively into the mirror at his own image. 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 honor of the upcoming revival, Playbill is looking back at the original Broadway production. Based on The Who’s 1969 rock concept album, Tommy tells the story of deaf and mute boy who becomes a world-famous Pinball Wizard and the leader of a cult of devotees. The musical opened at the St. James Theatre April 22, 1993, playing 27 previews and 899 performances before closing June 17, 1995. The musical would go on to garner 11 Tony Award nominations, winning five, including Best Original Score.
Flip through photos of the original production below:
Photos: The Who's Tommy on Broadway
With a cast of future stars, the musical featured Michael Cerveris as Tommy alongside Norm Lewis, Alice Ripley, Michael McElroy, Sherie Rene Scott, Crysta Macalush, Carly Jane Steinborn, Buddy Smith, Jonathan Dokuchitz, Anthony Barrile, Paul Kandel, Marcia Mitzman, Cheryl Freeman, Michael Arnold, Bill Buell, Maria Calabrese, Tracy Nicole Chapman, Paul Dobie, Tom Flynn, Jody Gelb, Christian Hoff, Donnie Kehr, Pam Klinger, Lisa Leguillou, Lee Morgan, and Timothy Warmen.
The Who’s Tommy featured music and lyrics by Pete Townshend (with additional music and lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon), book by Townshend and McAnuff, featured songs by Sonny Boy Williamson, choreography by Wayne Cilento, scenic design by John Arnone, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Chris Parry, and sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy.