In the early Nineties, the entire industry of Broadway theater was lagging from poor ticket sales, as people no longer cared to listen to the same happy-go-lucky drivel normally associated with show tunes. But then Pete Townshend came along and taught folks a thing or two about how to stage a musical, offering up a full-length "opera" he wrote in the Sixties called Tommy.
Consisting entirely of rock music, Tommy tells the story of a boy who lives in a bizarre catatonic state, is sexually abused, given psychotropic drugs, and generally treated horribly ... until one day he oddly becomes a champion at pinball. Sound weird? It is, but in the best possible way. And really, it's no weirder than the fact that Townshend randomly attempted to write an entire rock-music opera in the first place. Luckily he did such a good job it was perfectly suited for a Broadway stage, where it was called The Who's Tommy and altered the prospects of American musicals for the better. Check out the Pinball Wizard and the Acid Queen for yourself beginning tonight at FIU's Wertheim Performing Arts Center. The show runs for two weeks; ticket costs range from $15 to $18.
Oct. 18-Nov. 1, 2007