Townshend working on 'Tommy' project

January 17, 1992|By Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES -- Pete Townshend is working with the La Jolla Playhouse on a stage adaptation of the Who's legendary 1969 album "Tommy."

Mr. Townshend and Des McAnuff, the La Jolla artistic director, have been working on it for several months. Mr. McAnuff will direct the piece during its July 12 to Aug. 16 run.

" 'Tommy' is like an icon -- almost a symbol of pop culture," Mr. McAnuff said.

For years, the story came alive only in people's minds as they listened to the album or the Who in concert. Then, in 1975, Ken Russell directed a movie version, in which Mr. Townshend participated.

The album also was adapted as a ballet and as a stage musical that played on London's West End. Mr. Townshend, who wrote the album's music and lyrics, didn't participate in the 1978 West End musical. The La Jolla project marks the first time he has worked on a stage adaptation.

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