“The Who’s Tommy”
A recasting of “The Who’s Tommy” will be featured on a three-day run at the Norris University Center at Northwestern University. The rock opera musical based on the 1969 album by The Who follows a young boy in the wake of World War II who tries to find himself after seeing his father—who had been away at war— kill his mother’s new lover in a jealous commotion. The story watches Tommy’s coming-of-age and rise to prominence in the heat of the tragedies that befell him and his family.
The Arts Alliance, the oldest performing arts group at Northwestern University, and one of the largest in the country, is dedicated to delivering experiences that are, in its own words, “diverse, accessible, and fulfilling.” The directors and actors alike believe that the performing arts are a necessary bastion of society, educating and enriching the lives of all who are open to the experience. The group is also one of the first to explore uncharted territory in the realm of theater, always looking for opportunities for expansion. “Tommy” is one of the largest, most anticipated productions to hit the stages. This version of the famous rock musical will feature three female leads playing the role of Tommy (as a kid and as he matures) and will offer an additional interpretation in American Sign Language, allowing the narrative to reach everyone who wants to see the show. So, while the script and performance will recognizably be the famous rock opera, the experimental elements of the show will break new ground, exploring fronts that no traditional representations would dare to reach.
Critics may be impressed with the more accessible and newly female reiteration of a classic musical, viewing it as relevant to inspiring the youth (especially females) to gain a sense of independence. The director of the musical stated a higher number of females looking to participate in the performance as a reason for changing the casting, but notwithstanding, the show will offer a brand new perspective on the young female growing up with little help and support who must learn to trust in and rely on herself.
For a new spin on an old favorite, see “The Who’s Tommy” at the Norris University Center.