October 21, 2020

1972-03-16 – Independent

1972 03 16 Independent_Thu__Mar_16__1972_

k26-INDEPENDENT (AM)

mss-mzcm mm u- m cm M uv- n- m

‘Tommy’ a haunting adventure

By DENISE KUSEL
Stat! Writal‘

“Tommy?

"Tommy?

“Tommy
me?"

Not too well. mom — the
music is a little too loud . .

Yes. but despite electric
eccentricities and over-
bearing orchestral arrange-

ments, "Tummy,” the SW-
par effervescent illumina-
tion of The Who, presently
at the Aquarius Theater
in Hollywood. is a haunting
and sometimes frightening
introspective adventure.

-Haumjng beCause it.
burrows down deep inside
your dendrites and synap—
tic canyons “tether you
like it or not. The symbol-
ism becomes- an addiction.

—F‘righterfing because
there‘s a little Tommy in
all of us. A little Uncle Er-
nie. too.

Ever since Peter Town-
shend and The Who came
out with "Tommy” in 1968.

can you hem

an esoteric cult of album
owners have been trying to
put their fingers into the
pie and pull out the plum
which will clarify the
whole Spacey symbolism
scene-

Townshend says there is
no big symbolism trip in
Tommy. The group just
got together one afternoon
{or a little fun and the
rock opera was the result.

And anxious devotees
have since dubbed Tommy
everything from pure-
hcaried youth to a re-
turned and later rejected
Messiah.

I feel Tommy is a very
personal type of inward
journey into mlnd-depths.
plucking the strings of so
many untouched myster-
ies.

Tommy didn’t explode
my brain — it imploded it.

Ted Neeley plays Tom-
my who is deaf, dumb and
blind — the resmt of a
psychosomatic trauma sus-
tained from a severe
shock.

He can see his reflection

in the mirror - only his-

reflecfion and nothing
else?
"See me.

“Hear me.
“Touch me.

“Heal me."

Innocence shining out of
Tommy‘s eyes — begging
and bending and beckoning
you into him. -

Neeley seems to have
found his genre in super-
rock heroics- He played a
stint as Claude in the Los
Angeles production of
“Hair" and starred as Je-
sus in “Jesus Christ. Su~
perstar” on Broadway.

The final scenes in both
acts show skilliu] blend—
ings of photographic tech-
nique applied to three oc-
tagonal backdrop screens.
with fluid and impressive
choreography.

The tmderture in Act 1
features intoxicating danc-
ing by the Acid Queen.
played by Annette Car—
dona. with Bert Woods.

lumps of vocal doldrunm.

sexy and sensual as The
Hawker.

The finale literally vi-
brates lo a close with
Tommy discovering him-
self as a separate entity.

—Even the pinball ma-
chine lies bu'oken and dead
on its wooden sides:

”Listening to you I get
the spirit

"Gazing at you, I gel. the
heat.

“Bight behind you, I see
the glory.

“I get excitement at
your feet."

For those puritans who
want to compare the rec-
ord album WiLh the live
performance -- forget it.
They're twodifferent
scenes- One is written for

the ear and is carried by -

the music. The other is
carried by the choreogra-
phyand enhanced by the
musm.

The main criticism of
the production is that at
times the musical volume
drowned out the voices and
was quite disruptive.

Captain Walker.p1ayed '

by Alan Neal Hubbs, suf—

fered from a weak voice .
ihat continually went flat '
in his attempts to over-l

come the orchestration.

If the singing was mud- _

fly and at times inferior,

Claude Thompson's chore— ‘.

ography provided enough

rhythrm'c excitement to‘

carry the show. over the

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