On This Day, April 22, 1993: ‘The Who’s Tommy’ opened on Broadway

On This Day, April 22, 1993 …

The Who’s Tommy opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in New York.

The musical was an adaptation of the band’s 1969 rock opera. It was directed by Des McAnuff, with the book, music and lyrics by The Who’s Pete Townshend.

The musical follows a young boy named Tommy, who, after witnessing his father murder his mother’s lover, becomes deaf, dumb and blind. Despite this, he becomes an unlikely celebrity due to his pinball-playing skills and eventually inspires a cult following.

The show, which closed on June 17, 1995, won five Tony Awards, including Best Direction for McAnuff and Best Original Score for Townshend.

After a successful run in Chicago, a new reimagining of The Who’s Tommy opened at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre in March 2024, again directed by McAnuff. Tickets are on sale now.

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