See It, Feel It

On paper it had to have looked a little silly: a deaf, dumb and blind boy is somehow blessed with extraordinary powers, he becomes a pinball champion, and eventually a messiah figure to the masses. But on vinyl, in 1969, Pete Townshend's improbable rock opera concept blossomed gloriously -- via the enduring strength of his songs, his guitar-playing prowess and those volatile but deeply gifted geezers who helped pull it all off, Messrs. Daltrey, Entwistle and Moon. The Who's Tommy sold by the truckload, got toured from basic rock & roll halls to grand opera houses alike, and in 1974 was adapted for film by Ken Russell. Then, during the '90s, Townshend and Des McAnuff reconfigured Tommy for Broadway and the unique stylistic parameters of the stage musical. Our great little city is lucky enough to have a local theater company performing this version of The Who's Tommy, as Stray Dog Theatre presents its take on this classic-rock chestnut. The amazing journey begins at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (October 6 through 22) at Tower Grove Abbey (2336 Tennessee Avenue; 314-865-1995 or www.straydogtheatre.org); tickets are $18 to $20. It'll be like a visit to Tommy's Holiday Camp, without leaving the city limits. (In a neat bit of felicitous synchronicity, Who singer Roger Daltrey is performing his version of Tommy Saturday night at the way-cool Peabody Opera House. Why not catch both shows?)
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: Oct. 6. Continues through Oct. 22, 2011

 
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