Tuesday, October 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Local theater performance of ‘The Who’s Tommy’ rocks

10517350_10153016404464045_4397766468001982349_o

Roses Newell, center, as ten-year old Tommy the pinball wizard, is surrounded by ensemble members in Missouri Street Theatre's production of "The Who's Tommy" (photo: Sasha Craig Photography)

By
From page B3 | August 08, 2014 |

Missouri Street Theatre is now unquestionably the theatrical gold standard in Solano County. Their current production, “The Who’s Tommy” joins a long list of killer shows including “Les Miserables,” “Chess in Concert,” and “Legally Blonde the Musical,” to name a few.

“Tommy” began as a double album in 1969 by British rockers The Who and was the first recorded rock opera. In 1975 a film based on the album was released and in 1992 it was adapted into a Broadway show that won numerous awards including five Tonys.

Missouri Street Theatre’s production from start to finish is a rockin’ triumph.

The story is basically about a “deaf, dumb and blind kid” who got that way through post traumatic stress and how he then relates to the world around him.

The overture kicked off the show and the nine-piece orchestra absolutely nailed it. In my review of Missouri Street Theatre’s “Peter Pan” a couple of months ago, I bade conductor Cynthia Cook-Heath a fond farewell as that was to be her last show, but she was thankfully back doing the current one. It is fitting as The Who had a farewell tour in 1982 and are having another one next year.

Director Dae Spering (with assistant director Courtney King) masterfully wove together the diverse elements of the show by relying on very talented people including Staci Arriaga (choreography), Jeff Bristow (stage manager), Gina Coyle (costume design), Craig Scharfen (lighting design) and many more, too numerous to list.

In lesser hands, such a tricky production could have been a disaster, but the seamless show that the audience experienced is evidence of talented seamstresses.

Billed as Soundy McMicrophone in the program, Mike Meszaros, gets a standing O for the sound design. It is due not only for balancing so many different microphoned performers and musicians, but also deftly incorporating incredibly layered sound effects which, when coupled with the onstage action and music, sucked in the audience completely from the moment the curtain rose.

I have come to expect a strong cast in Missouri Street Theatre productions and have never been disappointed. In addition to performers I have enjoyed in past shows, including the ever-awesome Scott Woodard (Captain Walker), versatile Curt Thompson (Lover, Hawker), energetic Ethan Thomas Bell (Cousin Kevin), and, of course, effervescent Dae Spering herself (Mrs. Walker), there were new talented faces gracing the stage.

Jim Nassef, who plays the adult Tommy/Narrator, was one most welcome new face and voice. Spoiler alert – the narrator flies in several times in the beginning of the show (kudos to flight crew Charlie Snow and Anthony Lucido) and while I have heard some amazing singing on that stage, I have never heard amazing singing while someone is being suspended by cables several feet off the ground and spinning as Nassef pulled off in “Amazing Journey.” He gave a splendid performance as did the two younger versions of Tommy played by Tatum Newell and Roses Newell.

Kate Richardson killed it as the Queen in Missouri Street Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” in December and was back singing “The Acid Queen” as The Gypsy in the current show. I can try to describe the miles of flaming hair and the steamy black and purple outfit accessorized with thigh-high white leather boots she wore while belting out her lone song, but you kinda have to see it to appreciate what a commanding figure she cut.

The entire cast from leads to ensemble presented the tale of the catatonic gamer through superb singing, exquisite costumes (nurses, soldiers, choirs, oh my!) and lively, exuberant dancing. Having so many well-known songs such as “See Me, Feel Me,” “I’m Free” and of course “Pinball Wizard” helps, but it is all about seizing that live moment and delivering, and they did.

Whether you are old enough to have seen the actual The Who perform the songs from “Tommy” at Woodstock or you only know The Who songs as the themes of various incarnations of “CSI” – be prepared to have your socks rocked off.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com

 

“The Who’s Tommy”

Missouri Street Theatre production

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 8-9, Aug. 15-16

6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10 and Aug. 17

Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, 1035 Texas St.

www.downtowntheatre.com

four stars out of four

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Dan MonezAugust 08, 2014 - 9:43 am

    Wow, congratulations to Dae and the entire cast and crew!! Special congrats to Jim Nassef! We are all very happy that you decided to stay out on the west coast and make some great theater.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Crime key topic again at Fairfield candidates night

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 24 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Dixon corn maze breaks own world record

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

PAL center seeks volunteers

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Police Department hosts employee recognition event

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

.

US / World

Police say they might have spotted ambush suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Yosemite proposes raising entrance, camping fees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 3 Comments

 
CDC releases revised Ebola gear guidelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clinton: Midterm elections should motivate women

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Surfer fends off shark attack with fist, board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

WWII airman to be buried in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Brown: California needs long-term vision on water

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 4 Comments

Colorado proposes edible pot ban, then retreats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Submarine hunt sends Cold War chill across Baltic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Oscar Pistorius to finally learn his sentence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Youths, tech workers duel over San Francisco field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in Va. abduction charged in DC area rape

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warming Earth heading for hottest year on record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Lacking a plan, Abbas opts for rhetoric

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Police: Indiana suspect hints at more killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Turkey says it helps Kurdish fighters enter Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nigeria declared Ebola-free; ‘spectacular success’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Urgent-care clinics ill-equipped to treat Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
British royal couples’ 2nd child due in April

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Opinion

Spering kept youth league going

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
Day, Blankenchip good for respective cities

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

‘Misleading’ mailer sent to residents

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Yearwood, Santana to perform at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Standing ovation at Met Opera despite protest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Still the Same: Bob Seger launching tour, album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
San Francisco radio stations ban hit song ‘Royals’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Pitbull to host American Music Awards on Nov. 23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ actor arrested in Idaho

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

NBC’s Snyderman faces credibility issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Not so fast cordcutters – cable’s not going anywhere

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

TVGrid Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Local Report: Armijo boys soccer team falls to Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Steelers rally past stunned Texans 30-23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Bumgarner against Shields in World Series opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Raiders plagued by 3rd-down defensive woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Champion drag racer Raymond Beadle dies at 70

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stiviano lawsuit against Shelly Sterling dismissed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

With TD mark in bag, Manning can set more records

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore, needs surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Giants-Royals: A capsule look at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Belichick, Brady praise Manning on TD record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Penn State board to meet on disputed Freeh Report

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McIlroy to skip 2 events to focus on lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Column: Keselowski marches to his own beat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wanted: Cities interested in hosting 2024 Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants rely on core of 4 relievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Royals, fans bond over improbable postseason run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Voynov suspended on domestic violence suspicion

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple reports record 39.3 million iPhone sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

US regulator: Fannie, Freddie in deal with banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sears plans to raise more cash via rights offering

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Survey: Pay raises rarer despite strong US hiring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
US agency warns car owners to get air bags fixed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6