October 22, 2020

1998-01-30 – Poughkeepsie Journal

1998 01 30 Poughkeepsie_Journal_Fri__Jan_30__1998_

,1 The ‘Amazi‘ng J ourney’ begins in BearSvillé-tonight

‘Woodstock Youth Theater

[stages The'Who’s ‘Tommy’

Ix ram nanon
F01, e Poughkeepsie Journal

' psy ychedelic revival has rocked
Woodstock, sending local outh
n a trip better than any rug

induced experience.

To t, members of the Woodstock
Youth eater will heighten senses with its
production of “The Who' 3 To which

us a two weekend- run at the earsvllle

eater.

Director Beth Lipton has been working

with a cast of 26 high school students for‘
four months to bring the Broadway rock
opera to the mid-Hudson Valley.

“We're not big on hashin out old ‘Okia-
homa!‘ ihvon'tes," Lipton sa d. “ ‘Tommy‘ is
a rock show that kids really enjoy doing.”

Written by Pete Townshend, guitarist of
The Who, the album “Tommy" made its

debut in 1969. In 1993, Townshend brought

“Tommy" to Broadway.

Tommy addresses issues of child abuse.
As a child. Tommy witnesses his father
murder his mother’s lover. He sees this
image thro uh a mirror that keeps his hor-
ror locked thin its reflections. His parents

A warn hini “You didn‘ t see it. You didn’ t

hear it You won t ever say anything."

Traumatized. the boy becomes psyehm
logically blind. deaf and dumb. As he grows.
Tommy is subjected to further abuse

The story reverses itself when. as a teen
Tommy discovers his talent as a pinball
wizard" His amazing ability renders him a
social idol. All Is resolved when the mi1r01
is shattered. and hisxsenses are 1eleased
from the glassy shards of horror.

A total theater experience
Set amid a world of euphoric music and
psychedelic effects. "Tommy" gives the
audience the ability to hear. see and feel
vicariously for a boy who lives in darkness.
Lipton chose to direct prnshend‘s work
because of its important social implications.

“I 1 hose this play be1 ause 11f varinus lev
els11fabuse and negieet that 111 1 u1 when
T1m1my1s a child. That‘ s the kind of WU! k
teens can really portray. It‘s very real for
them." Lipton said.

l.ipt11n.wh1)founded WYI‘ in 1988. says
her greatest difiieulty has been trying to
cram the technolo for this production into
the iiearsville Thea er. Live video, slides
and elaborate lights will be employed dur-
ing the performance.

“I had to find the right amount of special .
effects to maintain the psychedelic ham 11
111' the show“l.ipt1msaid stressing that
psy1 hedelie does notneeessmily1ef111 t1) :1
drug indu1 ed expe1‘ie111 1‘

Please see ‘l’ommy,’ 4F