SJU Theater Company Presents “The Who’s Tommy”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The SJU Theater Company is transporting audiences to post-World War II London with a production of the musical “The Who’s Tommy,” opening Wednesday, February 22 in Bluett Theater.

Based on The Who’s 1969 rock opera album Tommy, the play focuses on the story of a blind, deaf and mute boy who becomes an international pinball-playing sensation. The five-time Tony Award-winning musical was translated to the stage by Des McAnuff and The Who band member Pete Townshend. First performed in Saint James’ Theater on Broadway in 1993, it features several hit songs including "Pinball Wizard" and "See Me, Feel Me.”

The 20-member cast is comprised of 18 students and two young boys who will play the title character at ages 4 and 10. SJU student performers include John Degnan '18 as the eldest Tommy, Sean Hogan '17 as Captain Walker, Abigail Gorman '17 as Mrs. Walker and Amanda Strydio '19 as The Acid Queen. Ciaran McGahey will play 4-year-old Tommy, and Quinn McGahey will play 10-year-old Tommy. The performance will also feature a 5-person rock band conducted by visiting artist Douglass Lutz.

“We decided to produce ‘The Who's Tommy’ because, as a rock musical, it is very challenging for the student singers,” says director Renee Dobson, M.F.A., associate professor of music, theatre & film and artistic director of Bluett Theatre. “Many musicals on Broadway currently have rock scores, and it is an important element to learn while studying musical theatre.”

The play is intended for mature audiences.

Performances will run February 22-26 at 8 p.m., with a closing show on Sunday, February 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets may be reserved on the SJU Theater Company website or by calling 610-660-1181, and can be purchased at the box office one hour before the show with cash or check. Credit cards are not accepted. Tickets are $10 for students with a valid ID, SJU faculty and staff, senior citizens and children under 12. General admission is $20. Bluett Theatre is located on the Saint Joseph’s University campus in Post Hall on 56th Street and Overbrook Avenue.

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