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MTG goes rock-and-roll campy

The Musical Theater Guild will present the rock opera, "Tommy," created by The Who in 1969, over two consecutive weekends at MIT.

"Tommy" offers many rock anthems including "Pinball Wizard," "I'm Free" and "Sensation"--all etched in the Woodstock generation's mental juke box--along with an absurd story line. Tommy, a traumatized boy who becomes psychosomatically deaf, mute and blind, finds himself the object of a religious cult, thanks to his talents with pinball machines.

The music long outlasted the story. Who could forget, "That deaf, dumb and blind kid/Sure played a mean pinball"? "Tommy" was produced as a feature film in 1975 and as a Broadway show in 1993.

"'Tommy' is at long last the authentic rock musical that has eluded Broadway for two generations---an entertainment juggernaut that lifts the audience right out of its seats," wrote the New York Times when the show debuted.

Musical Theatre Guild's production of "The Who's Tommy," with its cast of colorful characters including the weirdly wacky Uncle Ernie and the soul-destroying Acid Queen, goes on stage Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 3-5 in the Sala de Puerto Rico. Curtain is at 8 p.m. except for a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Jan. 30.

Tickets are $10, $8 MIT community, $6 MIT/Wellesley students. For information or reservations, call 253-6294 or e-mail

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 26, 2005 (download PDF).

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