September 26, 2020

2000-02-17 – Arizona Republic

2000 02 17 Arizona_Republic_Thu__Feb_17__2000_

February 17, 2000 the flop

Photos by Michael LaMonte

Tommy. who's played by Eric Kunze, gains the adoration of his fans in The Who's Tommy, opening Tuesday at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix.

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By Kyle Lawson

The Arizona Republic

ace it. The Who soon will be old enough to
play the Sundome.

Roger Daltrey and Pete 'l‘ownshend are 54.
John lintwistle 55' Keith Moon died young. left a
.semiheztutil‘ul corpse. If he hadn‘t. he‘d be 53.

There‘s one consolation. They're old. but
they ‘re rich.

And getting richer.

Seven years ztgo. 'l‘ownshend dusted oil the
group‘s '69 rock opera. Tammi: refashioned it for
middlebrow sensibilities 21nd racked up huge
grosses in london‘s West [find and on Broadway.

Now it‘s our turn to contribute to the aging
rockers" retirement l‘und. Tllt' ll'lm't Yiminii'
opens 'l‘uesduy at the ()rpheum Theatre for u
ueekk run.

It‘s loud. it's splashy. it‘sjust not us rtm :15 the
original limzm}; whose lyrics and music by
'l'tm‘nshend celebrated a most unlikely hero for 21
musical: ’l’ommy is deaf. dumb and blind. And he
has strange friendsi The Pinball Wizard. The Ac—
itl Queen. Aim-Margret.

Wait a minute. She's from a different story.
The one called "The Worst Movies liver Made
From Rock Operas."

7imimi' has been the route. A concert. 21 con~
eept recording. a ballet. the moyie and now the
stage version. which adds the group‘s name to the
title in case we‘d forgotten whom to blame.

The story has remained more or less the same.
A child sees his father kill his mother‘s lover. His

‘The Who’s Tommy’

WHAT: Pete Townshend's rock opera. Produced by
the Theater League.

WHEN: Tuesday through Feb. 27. 8 pm. Tuesday
through Friday; 2 and 8 pm. Saturday; and 2 and
7 pm. Sunday.

WHERE: Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St.,
Phoenix.

ADMISSION: $33.50»$39.50: (602) 262-7272.

parents tell him. “You didn‘t hear it. you didn I
see it. you won‘t say nothing to no one ex er in
your life"

Deafl dumb and blind like we said. Tommy's
none of those. of course. lean ing open the possi-
bility of recmery. Rock operas need a little ten—
sion between the belters. A little sadism, too. His
Uncle Ernie molests Tommy. his cousin Keiin
treats him as a punching bag.

The kid grows up to be a pinball wizard.
There‘s logic there. Somewhere.

There's a happy ending of sorts. As happy as it
can get with Townshend at the helm. Perhaps the
most intelligent of the rock songwriters. his mu-
sic is tinged with melancholy and bittersweet
irony.

Tummy (with or without The ”/1me in the title)

, Plane see WWW, Page 23

Prepare to be blown away

by classic sounds, story
of ‘The Who’s Tommy’

Joining Kunze in a scene from The Who's Tommy
are (from left) Evan D'Angeles, Matt Zarley and
Kristopher Jones.