September 19, 2020

2000-02-26 – Arizona Republic

2000 02 26 Arizona_Republic_Sat__Feb_26__2000_

Whose ‘Tommy’ is this? Not Who’s

By Kyle lawson
The Arizona Republic

Audiences leaving the produc-
- tion of The Who‘s 'Ibmmy at the
Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday
expressed their feelings in a
word:

“Loud!"

Well, maybe two.

“Awful.”

Tommy is a step backward for
Theater League producer Mark
Edelman. After several years of
increasing quality, his latest of-
fering boasts mediocre produc-
tion values, unimaginative
choreography and by-the-book di-
rection from Glenn Casale, a man
who has done much better work
on the Phoenix stage.

This is not Pete Townshend's

Theater review
“THE WHO'S TOMMY'

WHO/WHAT: Pete Townshend's
rock opera. directed by Glenn
Casale for Theater League.

WHEN: Through Sunday.

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

ADMISSION: $33.5o-$39.50;
(602) 262-7272.

rock opera as Townshend meant
it to be seen. That’s crime
enough. What’s worse is that a
considerable portion of the
league’s audience is predisposed
to think that rock has no place in

American musical theater.

There’s nothing in Tommy to
prove them wrong.

Some nice voices, though.

Best of them is Eric Kunze. He
showed his mettle in the title role
of Edelman’s Pippin. He proves it
again as Tommy. His engaging
personality and soaring vocals do
much to relieve a tedious even-
ing.

Nice moments, too, from
Tammy Anderson and Ray Ben-
son as Tommy’s parents, and
Carla Williams as the Acid
Queen.

Lloyd Cooper’s band is excel-
lent.

You notice there has been no
mention of the plot. What takes
place at the Orpheum makes no
sense even when you know
what's happening.