A Mean Pinball

Ahh, the rock opera. It all started in 1966 when The Who released its second album, which contained the phenomenal nine-minute suite of songs "A Quick One While He's Away," the tale of Ivor the engine driver and his lustful ways. The Who followed this with a full-length opera, Tommy, in 1969. It was a story in song about a psychosomatically "deaf, dumb and blind" kid who plays a mean game of pinball and goes on to lead a cult. In 1975, Ken Russell made it into a movie, starring the band members and a few of their friends, including Tina Turner, Elton John and Eric Clapton. It was received fairly well and even nominated for several awards, although many rock fans, me included, regard it as a tacky spectacle with only moments of brilliance (Keith Moon as Uncle Ernie comes to mind). In the late '70s, it was turned into a stage production titled The Who's Tommy, continuing with a two-year run on Broadway in the '90s. Now the Dallas Theater Center takes it on Tuesdays through Sundays through September 21, with musical help from Denton's Oso Closo. For tickets call 214-522-8499 or visit dallastheatercenter.org.
Aug. 27-Sept. 21, 2008
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Katey Margolis

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