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Reimagining of The Who’s ‘Tommy’ opening in Chicago next month

Rick Kern/Getty Images for The Who

The Who’s rock opera, Tommy, was turned into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical in the early ’90s, and now it’s going to hit the stage yet again.


A new reimagining of Tommy, featuring a cast of 28, a nine-piece band and brand new staging, is set to open at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in June. The new production is being reimagined by the creators of the original production, director Des McAnuff and The Who’s Pete Townshend

“It’s at once an honor and a joy to again collaborate with Pete to realize the power and pertinence of The Who’s Tommy today,” McAnuff shares. “While the music remains as glorious as ever, our world years later is unimaginably and irrevocably changed. As a result, there’s so much more we all can recognize—and celebrate—in our protagonist’s evolution, as a collective deeper understanding of mental health has sharpened our lens.” 

He adds, “Tommy Walker’s triumph over devastating childhood trauma, to enlightened leadership, to ultimately recognizing the folly in which he’s surrounded himself is an amazing journey to discover anew.”

Rehearsals for the new production have already started, with previews set to begin June 13 and opening night set for June 26. The production runs through July 23. Tickets are on sale now.

Based on The Who’s 1969 album and 1975 film, the original production of Tommy opened at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California, on July 1, 1992. It opened on Broadway on April 22, 1993, and closed on June 17, 1995. It won five Tony Awards, including Best Direction for McAnuff and Best Original Score for Townshend.

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