TOMMY - The Musical
Director - Warren Bartik
Musical Director - Bruce Menzies
Choreographer - Tracey James
The Rock Opera TOMMY, which was first performed by The Who in 1969, was originally conceived by Pete Townshend and Kit Lambert with contributions to the development by John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Roger Daltrey.
On behalf of the Armidale Drama and Musical Society welcome to our major musical proouction'for 2016. We seem to be having a trend of late staging rock or pop musicals and now th"e fabulous Tommy can be added to that list. This has been a "passion" project of Director Warren.., Bartik and Musical Director Bruce Menzies for a number of years and it was only a matte of.time.J?efore they brought their vision to the Armida le stage. The meticulous planning and diFection of Warren along with the assured musical direction of Bruce will no doubt once again make for a magnificent night's entertainment for our Armidale audiences. The cast along with
many of Armidale's most accomplished m1usicians will no doubt do more than justice to The Who's timeless classic rock musical.
We are indebted to so many people who all contribute in various ways to stage such a significant undertaking. I would like to pay special tribute to Robyn Bradley for her immense skill and patience as assistant musical director and repetiteur. Pat Bradley whose skills at bringing our set dreams to life are unsurpassed and Tracey James whose choreography brings to the show that essential extra dimension to ensure a magnificent night's entertainment.
So settle back in to your seat and come with us on the "Amazing Journey" with that "Pinball Wizard" Tommy.
Message from the Director
The song "Amazing Journey" begins Tommy's narrative for the events in his life that are laid out for us in the story to follow. My own amazing journey with the music of Tommy started a few decades ago with the double album by The Who released in 1969 and the first record I owned. This started a passion for The Who's music that continues to this day. The band are still playing live and touring the UK at the time of this production. I saw The Who play live in Sydney in 2004 and again in Brisbane in 2009 with Bruce Menzies our MD. The energy and delivery was amazing with the Tommy numbers a standout. It was at that time that Bruce and I started talking about staging the musical, so here we are seven years later.
Tommy is not often performed and it was apparent to me that the story had to be more cohesive and the characters have more depth. The story is almost entirely sung so in essence a "rock opera" as The Who first described it in 1969. In the 60's the band's music was about alienated youth struggling in a world that didn't understand them. Then as now, the struggles through childhood into adolescence, and adulthood remain much the same and sometimes the only way to survive what life throws at you is to shut down the senses. Being deaf, dumb and blind may have been brought on by Tommy witnessing an act of violence, but in a larger sense this mirrors how society sometimes deals with unspeakable horrors we can inflict on• each other. There is adult content that might distress some audience, but ultimately this show is about the music, the joy of being and of awakening. For those who know The Who's music, the rediscovery of its power and passion will once agalin excite your senses. For those hearing it for the first time, I guarantee you will notforget it!
Thank you to everyone involved with this production; particularly Bruce for his inspired musical direction, Deborah for the amazing and many many costumes, Tracey for brilliant choreography, Pat for engineering my set design to life, Pam who
hunts to the end of the earth for props, Robyn for her masterful "but not my!genre" piano, and Neil for his steady hand on production. As Tommy sings .. ."]'II be your
leader, I'll be your guide, on the Amazing Journey, together we'll ride!