DOMA Theatre Company kicks off its 2012 season of musical theater with a revival of The Who's Tommy. Hallie Baran directs the Tony Award-winning rock opera that features a book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff; music and lyrics by The Who's Pete Townshend; and additional music and lyrics by John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Sonny Boy Williamson. Musical director is Chris Raymond and Angela Todaro choreographs. Performances take place March 23 through April 15 at The MET Theatre in Los Angeles.
The Who's 1969 double album Tommy was the first rock opera ever written. Ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, Pete Townshend's musical tells the story of a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who transcends the cruelty of the world around him to find enlightenment. Since it exploded on the charts over 40 years ago, Tommy, filled with songs like "Pinball Wizard;" "See Me, Feel Me;" "Acid Queen" and more, has been re-interpreted in concerts, on film and on stage.
"In our production, Tommy isn't just a pinball wizard, he's a gamer," explains Baran. "Our Tommy will have a Tron-like quality and more of a hard rock, instead of a Broadway, feel."
The Who's Tommy originated at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1992 before playing on Broadway for more than two years where it garnered five Tony Awards, including Best Score for Townsend's iconic music.
Jess Ford stars in the title role (Sunset Boulevard at Timber Lake Playhouse in Chicago, Romeo & Juliet, Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night and Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). The ensemble features Anna Ty Bergman (Off Broadway's Red Hot Broadway!, Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco), Geoffrey Going (On Wings of A Song for LA Opera Ring Festival, Hair at the Coast Playhouse), Stephanie Hayslip (Rent directed by Nick DeGruccio), Timothy Hearl (Macha Theatre's Naked Boys Singing), Chris Kerrigan (Frank in Merrily We Roll Along, Norman in Moonchildren) Lisa Margaroli (N.Y. credits: Hair, Pirates of Penzance, A Chorus Line), Karl Maschek (Marvin's Room at Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Playwright's Horizons, and Minetta Lane Theatre), Megan McDermott (The Next Fairy Tale at Celebration Theatre, A Night with Jason Robert Brown and Georgia Stitt), Samantha Mills (The Drowsy Chaperone and Urinetown for A.R.T.S.) , Matt O'Neill (Balm in Gilead for Coeurage Theatre Co.), Steven W. Nielsen (The Beatles LOVE - Cirque du Soleil), Aidan Park (Urinetown and Kiss Me Kate at PCPA), Brittany Rodin (Cole at Downey Civic Light Opera), Nik Roybal (Daddy at the Hudson), Bradley Sattler (recent graduate of San Diego State), and Tiffany A. Williams (Guys and Dolls at Sierra Repertory Theatre, 42nd Street at Moonlight Stage Productions). Eight-year-old Donovan Baise and eleven-year-old Max K. Salinger double in the role of young Tommy, while the role of young Cousin Kevin is shared by teens Andy Scott Harris and Adam Simon Krist.
Set and costume design for Tommy is by Brandy A. Jacobs; lighting designer is Cullen Pinney; and video design is by Matthew Leddy.
Hallie Baran has directed such works as Much Ado About Nothing, Measure For Measure, Laundry and Bourbon, Closer, Snowbound (world premiere), Pippin, Love And Human Remains, The Actor's Nightmare, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. The Who's Tommy will mark her fourth theatrical adventure with DOMA Theatre Company where she is a resident director. Hallie is also a published playwright and poet in both the United States and Europe.
Chris Raymond is classically trained on piano, guitar, clarinet, voice and percussion. At the age of 15, he was chosen by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown to play in the pit orchestra for 13 The Musical at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and he also played productions at the Mark Taper Forum, Goodspeed Opera House and on Broadway. Other musical credits include the 2010 North American tour of Handel's "Messiah Rocks" (a modern rendition of the classic oratorio that featured an orchestra, three choirs, three lead singers and a rock band) and playing alongside Herbie Hancock at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. In 2011, Raymond orchestrated and musical directed the original musical The Playground – A Street Rock Musical at the MET Theatre. Raymond studied music composition and performance at California Institute of the Arts.
DOMA Theatre Company began as a joint venture between Dolf Ramos and Marco Gomez in 2002. In the beginning, DOMA provided a platform for young talent to obtain experience performing in musical Theater Productions alongside seasoned professionals. As the company grew, it partnered with The Hope & Union Foundation, a California public benefit organization dedicated to the arts and to assisting at-risk youth. Through its partnership with the Foundation, DOMA was able to stage productions including new works (Lovers' Mayhem, Gallery), revivals (Cabaret, Into The Woods, The Wild Party, Passion, Jaques Brel…), and plays (Actor's Nightmare and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All).
The Who's Tommy runs Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 3 pm from March 23 through April 15. Tickets range from $30 - $34.99; seniors and students with ID pay only $20. The MET Theatre is located at 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles CA 90029. Secure, on-site parking is available for $5. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 323-465-0693 or go to www.DomaTheatre.com.