October 23, 2020

1995-02-11 – Democrat and Chronicle

1995 02 11 Democrat_and_Chronicle_Sat__Feb_11__1995_

iti mm mutt # i

m;- ivr «mi»

: x. a

t‘> u preth l.ir-nut thine .i«:~
tuully "

Pete 'lliwzisheud> 1%? tl~>l’.“'
ment uil' lii~ itltni lnr the rml.

uperu T(HNIIH‘ d(N‘Mtl mute elim- tii rml
izing,r hnw lair it wuuld uetutillv :41)

And l]t)\' tlume>t1e it wuuld exeittutillj.
become

TUHHH)’. The Who's gillium ailmut ’luwit
.«hend‘s deufi dumb and hlintl kid.
emerged in 1969 as an ethereal l‘tlt'h lit
rnll wonder. Dubbed an opera. it was u
Ming cycle uheut the SU‘let‘ll ho}: lt wm
ti‘ippy ennugh tn lit the time> mid
ubliqUe t't’ltilltjl] tn invite interpretutmii

Wm it :1 pnruhle uhuut >pu‘ituul quest,’
A study nl eelehrtty'.’ A celebration at
indivuluulit} 1’ A ~~tatement nl‘ t‘ehellmn"
A metaphur ll)!’ the late-‘h‘tls generatmiml
>ehi>m7 Yes — tmd no — tii zill til'thnse
Timimx's meaning,r hu> heeii mulleuhle.
men 'I‘tiwmhentlF l'Xplill‘ldllHlb hux'e

changed over time u> Tnmntx ha: become

a symphonic wurk
and u leuture lilm

Now comes The
Whuk ’llmtmy, it
“why. 'l'ottv-winmne
stage pruduetitin that
comes to 'l‘nrtintn this
munth with at new,
(V‘unadian ‘ast. A hit
(in Broadway two
years ago, Timmiy
has a clearly stated
zmd wholly unexpect-
ed meaning. From
the haze til‘the ruck
iiperu. 'l'nwmhend
amtl (lireetiit‘ De>
MeAnull' have created
a mu>ieul thut cele-
brate> the nonnality
nl‘ daily existence and
the .~;iiietity ut' family
lite

'l'ltb mesmge l>
litmtletl tu the illltll-
enee neur the end (ll
Tumnn l‘ntil that
ptiiiit. lllt|>l iil‘the >tti-
ry is the same (1.5 the
(me 'll)wnshend and
his Who mates origi-
nally came up with.
Tommy‘s father. a
fighter pilot. is shot
down and presumed
l]1l.‘lllg (luring Wtirld
War ll. lle return>~ ti)
lliid tllill his wil'e hm
taken :i lover and
kill> the mun 'l‘ummy
wttne»e> the murder:
hut when hi.~ pitl't‘lll.
tell him. “Ynu (litlti‘t
>ee it iiu (litln‘t lieur it iiu want my
iiutlimg.r tti nu tine." lie lieeume> deal.
(lumh zmd lilmtl.

Despite hi> tlimhilitie» 'liimmy prim?
aidept zit piiihull. When he finally
emergw lrmn hi> £1L]lt.llt‘ stzite. h1>lmuil
eelelirity t'})ltltlt'> lllltl ti i'm:.~.~i.uue eult
lut the tuee 'Ilmimi >witehe> tit'ilh
when the title elizii‘uetei‘ trie> to explain
lt) hi5 lulltiwer> llllil he tiller» neither
great in>ight> mir [)llllt)>tiplllt‘>

"Why would ynu wtuit tn he more like
me?“ l1e>t11ga“l“ur 1:3 years I W215 wztit~
int: l'nr what you‘ve already got
'l‘hiwe ilrt‘ the true niii‘uele». (tlltl _'lill
lim'e them already"

At unuther point he ('Xt'lttlllh. “l'iii lree
~— l‘ni tree? And l't'eednm liex here in mm
maility"

And later. in u drawn i'exa’i‘ttme (ll Illt'
>huw$ l'iiizile. 'llimniy tell:- them. “Yeti
(lunt ltt't'tl tn elnini {l whim- (ll my punt

hu'i‘e iiiii'timl ultet‘ illl "

"lt l‘t‘ull)‘ hilt ll) me that lWJh l£lt't'(l
Hlll uii iiieVituliility lltill l haul tn (‘ml
rllllllllll‘'. lii t'liire llte llltlp‘“ expltimx
'lliwihhenil. 48. who wriite the ltttlr‘lt‘ uiitl

PREVAIEW

‘Tommy

can you see me?

To catch the Pinball Wizard onstage,
it has to be a trip — to Toronto

l_'t'ie> lur illl but three til 'Iiimmx'.‘ >(Hlfl5
:md i> lIL‘lplntl ()Vt‘I‘M'P the 'l‘nrnntti pm-
tlllt'lltlni "I had tti remove the metaphyrt-
ml stull‘lrtim the >ll()''
llt‘t‘HllH' there} 1m
hams llit‘ it uiiynmi‘e.
there} nu aiutlieiitii' .
amd tleeeiit >tmi-n (ll it
happeningr right nuw.
Whtit We have i.~ l)£l'ltl
lini‘txh in When illltl
nther lttztttllt*>[itlltilt> (ll
thztt kind (it metaphys-
iezil hunkum.

“It's very (lillei‘ent
limit the time I >ttutetl W.” ‘n m 1P Ht
tn write lummi. litiek Tickets: SL1“) to
then. there wit» i‘etil Call: (‘1 ‘M 3;,
litipe lei‘ tuetuphywetil
hunkum. lti ('uliliii'niu.
yeti hutl iiiur t'ltttlt‘t‘ «il' :31!“ what liinlx'etl
ltl't' ‘I"I'_ >m;m guru.» Vliei‘t' tire thex
mm" Ve tltint knew. tlu xe""

llnth 'liiwmheutl untl Me.mull realized
that (‘t3'>liilllllttt; 'l'nmimfi meaning:
would enu>e pl‘tililt‘Hh lti :i new hunk
illitllll the muueul. lhlt‘;lll.lll. whn grew

35L '
u'l y‘ H

Um. Mt At lllll

tiiitl SdllllLlniVn

The Who’s Tommy

What: 'i»; Cut tlti alt tittieittt t «A
: l. H l ,1 ,»l\/.<.il'tl-‘i‘itl lll I it; l'itl‘m «ll t3, Pete ltiwnbheiio LtliLl When: l‘iiwem. llt‘tlill l LIlJ j't‘. upetim Ma‘tdi l b’ p H! Mtir‘tt‘ta‘y Setlllllltlly‘ L" t) Hi Wednesday Where: illlt’ tilt; ii llituitte liitfll‘lii 91 tLtii'mttiuii up iii 'l'iirtintn, Antes. “Tumult may t’itm' even more huggage them a eluwe (lmmn because the tirimnal album me less spe- ellle, . , h mnk m tiwn license. and the audience hud itl\'tt_'>
been very eenemm
almut lillini; in the
Kil[)>.«

But the (ltreetiir tit"
>ueh trutlitiumtl
Broadway pieee> 12>
[he RH‘W‘ zind A th/h'
In the Wim/s suitl lie
enultln't imagine nut
atppl‘x mg .sume ilrti~
nitttle etitiventiuih tn
The Whuk Tummy

"( )1) Huge ‘Vttllth' gut
the tihlieutiun tit'ereut-
mg (I lHtt'Hl' narrative.“ he my.» " l‘hiiius
hin'e tn tiime tiimurtl in :t tllllt‘t‘t'ltl m}
than they tlu Hi :i win; exile " Me-iitill
>uy> the tlt‘t‘hltm “tn ereute u stury :ilmiit
u West lltllldtlll llimily {lnll tn gruuntl it in
mine WM)" Wéh Illiltlt‘ “nut to me» with
’l'zmmtx'. imt tn turn it IHIH mitietlimg

rt.» 1.. ihtlti '1'. dllll dwmwr Mm:
l’o-tw~ wt“:;:iii.:‘ .rntmil~o- hml 'n-er' land in
twin i" tlzettl ..

It's not ut‘prmti; that 'luwmhtutl
KK'Ilil‘l l‘nlJ.‘M1l[tii't'lt‘lll‘gllt'lctlllll 'xttl'
m» ”Milt INNS?” l Ht‘i; ii twteli‘t‘i‘t' Iil
gr» ~tl mm» twrwml, P'tllll'Htl nt‘ul ~H4ftil.
l'H‘-l.‘hl'il‘l le m~ limix'ilV 'ttl lii~ lll“ twr _
iit~;i:r‘.:xtiuii Hz~ inwt t't-L‘i tit wln tilhum,
/'~.w/rmtl to [ti (. k’tt.‘ .tlHilll .ui delllL' melt
‘ltit‘ -lll'l iiivixtuleerF plnt tn rexm- h1>
mrw 2'

ll" it With l!‘ lle~hetl-HUt ~er1pt and
mtto l'it‘tl muximl hite. the >tgtgetl Tummy
em: tie wen m ti ‘t'lillng ut' le»un>
leuriietl (luring 'I‘uwthhendl _'t)U[ll. th
tum ut> separated when they Were young:

-.~t'tltlm;I ‘l'nwmhentl tn ln'e with u
~ti‘iet emntlmnther 4 «iiilx‘ tn reunite
lime thI't' elultlren and lim- wlmt TUWll'
>hentl eull~ ti"i'wt'tti;1| lumily ltle.”

()r it eun be 511‘“ 21> u rellwtmn til
'li»~'ii>liehd'> nwn dnme>tic >1tuatinti
He" heen married 2:") }'(‘:lt‘> and hm
three ehlldren twn rluughten m then
earl} 20> and ti -l-|’t'.'tl’-tlltl Illt ltittmcut-
ed li} limintié flam-
>ueet-». lhwmhend
«us he'.~ “pulled by
the siren wng rit‘
>huw biz.“ thuugh he
luuthes the >epara-
tlon lrum ltl> family

“I dun't see m_vselt'
a> a grind father nr
even it decent man.” ‘
he lldh told Rolling .
Stone. “When I talk
about the importance
of family i in ??immyu
l'm .1u.~t saying. ‘I
w1>h l L'UUlCl d0
thut.‘ "

lt'.~ hurd tn attach.
this new meaning '
nntu >ueh a familiar
work without polariz—
int,r reaction — some-
times from the same
quarters, In The New
liirh Timex. llit‘
in;~tsze. thrmer the-
ater eritie Frank
Rich — like mmt ul'. ‘
Broadwuys L'I'lIlC'dl
L‘>titl)ll:l1mt‘llt —
slathered praise on
The Whuis‘ Tummy.
while music critic
Jun l’ureles blasts
'l‘ownshend and
MeAnutl': “Their
change: turn a bla>t
til >pirituul yearning
eunt'tmiiii untl rebel—
lltm into :1 pat on the
head liir ne>ters and
much pntutuw " In
The .Vi‘lt liil‘h‘i’l‘.
meanwhile, -ltil1ll l.;ihr etilletl it "it aubur-
lnm >huek . . the polyester ‘ersmn —
>hin): eam’ to handle and thin."

Nut :11] rneken have reacted negative-
ly. hnwex'er Jun (lremtt. u Who tan and
21

  • e tuckey lit New Yurkk WDHl‘I-FM.
    mw the Broadway >ltt)W >ex‘et‘ul tlme>.

    “'l'he ending. I euultln‘t eui‘e le» album-
    that,” (lrevatt. 5H. sziyx “l wzmtt getting:
    intu :1 message Hr zumhmg. 'l'he tiriginul
    :ilhum wasn‘t my favorite Who album. '
    but seeing: it mi Huge made me tippreci-
    ute it more."

    l 'ltimzitely. ML‘AJiull says. 'lliwnshendE
    lll'(ll‘(‘mt‘nl in reezistmg the opera vali-
    tlute> :my (if the ehtmge> 4A und the
    unwiezilk IIM‘r’Mltlt‘ “There are petiple
    uhti really leel like they UWH thi>
    tintl they (lnn't Willll anything,r tn ehunue."
    Tle:mill>ay>. “But Pete eei'tzimly hm
    tlie l'ltjltl tn t‘t'lllt‘tt tn l‘ll> awn tht‘h aintl
    «ln what he Plt';t>t'> And what l think
    ll.:ll])t‘ll>llllllti5v'llllh>\'lltl;1l't'tlpt'lllt)
    'lhnsmji 1: the; get mmpleteh euught up
    in the theater (iiit'l the mime ~ they're
    experieiieme :i true (lex'elepnieut illld
    exteminn ml the ni‘igmul :tllium ' _j

    ,l.ut 1h lll‘xltl 14:46.1
    What makes them so good? A (.‘unudtun etut rep/at'es the Bl‘uadu'ui' (telurs rabut'el, hut 'l‘timmy's (irigmu/
    ('I‘t’u/It‘t‘ (emit. me/uthng The “link Pele 'Ihu'nshend (1nd (hreemr Des MeAnu/‘f. nt'ermtt' the neu‘ pmduettmi.