“The Who’s Tommy” is returning to Broadway.
Directed by Des McAnuff, the original director of the rock opera, the revival plans to come to Broadway in 2021. This is the first Broadway revival of the show since its original run from March 1993 to June 1995.
The revival is produced by Hal Luftig and Patrick Catullo. A theater and exact dates for the Broadway revival have not yet been announced.
“In every producer’s career a show comes along that feels like a perfect fit,” Luftig said in the press release. “To have Pete and Des look at ‘Tommy’ again is extremely exciting and feels just right. I’m thrilled to bring Tommy back home to Broadway where it belongs!”
“Tommy” features music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and a book by Townshend and McAnuff. The idea originated with The Who’s 1969 album, which tells the story of Tommy Walker, a boy who appears to be deaf and blind but is able to express himself through playing pinball. From there, the album turned into a 1971 stage production at Seattle Opera and a 1975 film version.
In 1991, Townshend brought the album to McAnuff, who was then the artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse, to collaborate on creating a show together. The resulting Broadway production, which won five Tony Awards, marked the Broadway debut of Michael Cerveris, who played Tommy, with a cast including Norm Lewis, Alice Ripley and Sherie Rene Scott.
The upcoming production with be a “reinvention” of the musical, with the themes of Tommy as an anti-hero particularly resonating today, according to McAnuff.
“He becomes lost in the universe as he stares endlessly and obsessively into the mirror at his own image,” he said in the press release. “This gives our story a powerful resonance today as it seems like the whole world is staring into the black mirror.”
On Oct. 14, La Jolla staged a benefit concert of the musical with the original cast.