The Who’s ‘Tommy’ Musical Returning to Broadway

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Artwork for the original 1993 production of Tommy

The Who’s Tommy musical will return to Broadway in 2024, with Des McAnuff, who earned a Tony Award for the original 1993 production, again directing, following an eight-week, sold-out Chicago run. The new production, with previews beginning March 8, 2024 at the Nederlander Theatre, was announced on October 26, with tickets available here. (A 2019 announcement had originally called for it to return in 2021 but it was ultimately delayed for years, due to the pandemic.)

The 1993 musical, based on The Who’s 1969 rock opera featured music and lyrics by Pete Townshend, and a book by Pete Townshend and McAnuff. It was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, winning five. McAnuff won for Best Direction of a Musical; Townshend earned Best Original Score.

“Our new production of Tommy will be a reinvention aimed directly at today,” said McAnuff in the original 2019 announcement. “Tommy combines myth and spectacle in a way that truly soars. The key question with any musical is ‘Does the story sing?’ and this one most certainly does.”

The new production played in Chicago over the summer to rave reviews. The Chicago Sun-Times called it “a dazzling, pulsing roller coaster of a show that overwhelms the senses.” The Chicago Tribute wrote, “Extraordinary! A truly ready-for-prime-time stunner!” The entire creative team will continue with the Broadway production. The cast has not yet been announced.

Townshend spoke to the audience following a performance in Chicago.

On Oct. 14, 2019, Townshend made an onstage appearance at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, Calif., in a one-night-only staged concert of the musical. The Tommy musical made its world premiere at the Playhouse in 1992. The special event also featured performances by members of the original Broadway cast.

Listen to the “Overture” from the original Broadway production

A 1975 Tommy feature film, directed by Ken Russell, starred Roger Daltrey in the title role and included appearances from Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. The film also cast Ann-Margret as Mrs. Walker, Elton John as the Pinball Wizard, Tina Turner as the Acid Queen, and Jack Nicholson, Oliver Reed, Eric Clapton and Arthur Brown in supporting roles.

Related: The Who revisited Tommy in a 2017 performance in London

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