The Who’s Tommy, 40th Anniversary, in Asheville NC!

The Who’s Tommy: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Album Release
Presented by Bioflyer Productions and the Asheville Arts Center Diana Wortham Theatre
May 14-16 at 8PM, May 17 at 2pm
Benefit for Eblen Charities
Tickets $10-$25, Student, senior and group discounts available
Tickets on Sale now!
828-257-4530, http://www.dwtheatre.com/

Organizations on the web: http://www.eblencharities.org/
http://bioflyer.wordpress.com/www.ashevilleartscenter.com

Peter Townshend’s tale of a young boy’s journey from trial to triumph is one of the most electrifying evenings of rock’n roll ever to play in a theatre! A great night out for the whole family.

Following a successful presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2008, Bioflyer Productions is mounting another famous British creation, The Who’s Tommy. The full-scale Broadway version of the show will have a three night, one matinee run at Diana Wortham Theatre from May 14-17. Producer and director, Rock Eblen, has joined forces this year with the prolific Asheville Arts Center owned by Heather and Chuck Taft with artistic direction by Christopher Lynn. Chuck Taft will also be returning as musical director. This community showcase is Bioflyer’s annual fundraiser for the Eblen-Kimmel Charitable Group. The producers have adapted the story to be suitable for children at least 7 years old.

Tommy was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. Pete Townshend says he wrote the piece to describe how he felt after being taught by mystic Meher Baba about various spiritual principals and ideas. The music and lyrics became “a metaphorical story for different states of consciousness.”

When the original album was released in 1969, many critics called it a modern masterpiece, the beginnings of a new genre. It became a huge commercial success, as did THE WHO’S frequently sold-out live performances of the album in the following years, elevating the band to a new level of prestige and international stardom.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the album’s release.

In 1975, Tommy was adapted as a film, produced by Robert Stigwood and directed by maverick British auteur Ken Russell. The film was a huge commercial success on release and has achieved cult film status due to scenes such as Arthur Brown’s portrayal of a priest, and Ann-Margret as Tommy’s mother. Other highlights included Elton John’s very memorable appearance as the “Pinball Wizard” and Tina Turner’s electrifying cameo as the “Acid Queen.” Although the film version is known to have mature themes, Bioflyer’s new stage production has been modified to be family friendly.

In 1993, Townshend and La Jolla Playhouse theatrical director Des McAnuff wrote and produced a Broadway musical adaptation. The production, titled The Who’s Tommy, featured several rewrites in lyrics, and an all-star cast. The production won five Tony Awards that year, including Best Original Score for Townshend. Various touring revivals have met with popular acclaim ever since.

This production is a benefit for The Eblen Charities. Founded by Joe Eblen in 1991 as a grassroots foundation to help local children, this organization has now grown into 55 associated programs that annually assists over 60,000 families with needs such as medication, medical supplies, food, emergency travel, utilities, rent, and other special requests. This assistance is offered at no charge to children, adults, and families with illness or disabilities who live anywhere in Western North Carolina. http://www.eblencharities.org/

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