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Tommy by The Who (Highlights) – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1993

Tommy by The Who (Highlights) – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1993

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Synopsis

ACT I 1940: Against the backdrop of World War II appears a montage of the Walkers’ meeting, courtship, marriage, Captain Walker’s departure for the front and capture, and his internment in a POW camp – “Overture.” 1941: Back in London, a nurse gently hands Mrs. Walker her newborn son – “It’s a Boy.” 1945: When Captain Walker is freed, he arrives home to find Mrs. Walker celebrating her birthday with her lover and four-year-old son. Looking in a mirror, Tommy sees the furious Captain Walker shoot and kill the lover. The police arrive to investigate while Tommy just stares at his own reflection as his parents realize he is now deaf, dumb and blind. The narrator – Tommy’s older self – appears, visible only to Tommy – “Amazing Journey.” 1950: The Walkers take ten-year-old Tommy to church and to a family dinner (“Christmas”) where he responds to Uncle Ernie’s playing the French Horn and the older Tommy’s unseen presence – “See Me, Feel Me.” Back home, the Walkers worry about whether to leave Tommy with the drunken Uncle Ernie who, once he is alone with Tommy, molests him – “Fiddle About.” Tommy’s next babysitter, Cousin Kevin, takes him to the youth club where, to everyone’s astonishment, Tommy plays pinball brilliantly – “Sensation.” A desperate Mr. Walker is approached by The Hawker and Harmonica Player who promise a miraculous cure for Tommy. They take father and son to the Isle of Dogs to find a prostitute called The Gypsy (“Acid Queen”), although at the last minute Mr. Walker snatches the boy back from her in horror. The act ends in 1958 as a group of teenagers await Tommy’s appearance at the amusement arcade – “Pinball Wizard.” ACT II 1960: Tommy has become the pinball champion and hero of the neighborhood lads. Mr. and Mrs. Walker take Tommy to specialists (“Go to the Mirror/Listening to You”) for elaborate tests, to no avail. The Walkers, at their wit’s end and considering having Tommy institutionalized, compassionately confront one another – “I Believe My Own Eyes.” Tommy stares into the mirror as Mrs. Walker tries desperately to reach him – “Smash the Mirror.” With the mirror in pieces, Tommy becomes conscious (“I’m Free”) and leaves home. 1961–1963: Tommy is lionized by the public and the press (“Pinball Wizard”) and begins appearing in stadiums, where teenage Sally Simpson manages to get on stage and touch Tommy but, when he pushes her aside, she falls and is pummeled by the guards – “Sally Simpson.” Aghast, Tommy realizes how caught up in the celebrity machine he has become. He tends to her and invites everyone back to his house where Sally asks Tommy how she can be more like him. He insists there is no reason to be like him; who she is, is enough. Disenchanted with their hero for failing to provide instant salvation, the crowd turns on him and leaves. Tommy hears the voice of his ten-year-old self (“See Me, Feel Me”), turns to his family and embraces them in acceptance and reunion with his younger selves – “Listening to You.” – Rita D. Jacobs Editorial Director, Tommy: The Making of a Broadway Musical Pantheon Books 1993

Credits

The Minister, an Anglican priest: Bill Buell Uncle Ernie, Captain Walker’s older brother: Paul Kandel Mrs. Walker, Tommy’s mother: Marcia Mitzman Officer #1: Michael McElroy Officer #2: Timothy warmen Nurse: Lisa Leguillou Nurses: Jody Gelb, Pam Klinger, Alice Ripley Allied Soldier #1: Donnie Kehr Allied Soldier #2: Michael Arnold Captain Walker, later Mr. Walker, Tommy’s Father: Jonathan Dokuchitz Lover: Lee Morgan 4-year-old Tommy: Carly Jane Steinborn Tommy, our Narrator, late teens-early twenties: Michael Cerveris Judge: Tom Flynn First Barrister: Bill Buell Second Barrister: Norm Lewis The Minister’s Wife: Jody Gelb Cousin Kevin, Tommy’s cousin, a lout: Anthony Barrile Kevin’s Mother: Maria Calabrese Kevin’s Father: Tom Flynn Local Lads, later Security Guards: Michael Arnold, Paul Dobie, Christian Hoff, Donnie Kehr, Michael McElroy, Timothy Warmen Local Lasses: Maria Calabrese, Tracy Nicole Chapman, Pam Klinger, Lisa Leguillou, Alice Ripley, Sherie Scott The Hawker, an unsavory character: Michael McElroy The Harmonica Player, The Hawker’s companion: Lee Morgan The Gypsy, a prostitute: Cheryl Freeman First Pinball Lad: Donnie Kehr Second Pinball Lad: Christian Hoff The Specialist, a very modern doctor: Norm Lewis The Specialist’s Assistant: Alice Ripley 10-year-old Tommy: Buddy Smith News Vendor: Tom Flynn Sally Simpson: Sherie Scott Mrs. Simpson, Sally’s mother: Pam Klinger Mr. Simpson, Sally’s father: Bill Buell DJ: Tom Flynn Ensemble: Michael Arnold, Bill Buell, Maria Calabrese, Victoria Lecta-Cave, Tracy Nicole Chapman, Paul Dobie, Tom Flynn, Romain Fruge, Jody Gelb, Christian Hoff, Todd Hunter, Donnie Kehr, Pam Klinger, Tracey Langran, Lisa Leguillou, Norm Lewis, Michael McElroy, Alice Ripley, Sherie Scott, Timothy Warmen