Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
     
     
    American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

    Rush Ranch seeks docents

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

     
    Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

    Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

     
    Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Vacaville council eyes earlier start time

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page:

     
    .

    US / World

    Facebook suffers outage affecting users worldwide

    By The Associated Press | From Page:

     
    Private wells in California farm area show high uranium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ex-Army prosecutor found guilty of rape at court-martial

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Law enforcement wants popular police-tracking app disabled

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Gov’t to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Cuban youth build secret computer network despite Wi-Fi ban

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Seekers of the Hollywood Sign disrupt nearby neighborhood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    2 small planes crash-land off Hawaii; all aboard survive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Report: State worker sent alarming notes before gun arrest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
     
    Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on

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

    New Jersey’s Christie launches political action committee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    US drone strikes resume in Yemen despite turmoil

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Monster snowstorm swirls into densely populated Northeast US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Kurds celebrate ousting Islamic State fighters from Kobani

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Man takes responsibility for drone over White House

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Opinion

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Jan. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Petty earns writing credit for Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    National Cowboy Poetry Gathering begins in northeast Nevada

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Trainor and Styles write a duet about heartbreak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Emma Watson to star in live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    SAG Awards win sends ‘Birdman’ Oscar hopes soaring

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Cumberbatch says sorry for calling black actors ‘colored’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    A murder at the edge of the world takes ‘Fortitude’ to crack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Lawyers: Melissa Rivers files lawsuit in mother Joan’s death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sundance Watch: ‘Cobain’ premieres, women talk Hollywood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    TVGrid Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Sports

    Manfred knows he’ll get hit as commish _ his name is on ball

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    NASCAR to leave championship format unchanged in 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Kobe Bryant to have shoulder surgery, likely out for season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Tim Brown hopes 6th time is charm in Hall of Fame vote

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Raiders sign Charles Woodson for 2015 season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Rams notify St. Louis they’ll go year-to-year on dome lease

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Gamecocks still No. 1; Chattanooga joins women’s hoops poll

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Scott Dixon shines in masterful final drive in Rolex win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    LeBron, Cavs climb in standings, back in title conversation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Capitals among East contenders; West race too tight to call

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Playoff not interested in moving semis of New Year’s Eve

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Fireworks help celebrate Venus Williams’ Australian Open run

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    US women to host New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    NBA D-League All-Star events set for Feb. 15 in Brooklyn

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    AP Source: Los Angeles Kings release Mike Richards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Hope Solo could be left off US World Cup roster

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Employers: Agreement made on key issue in port labor dispute

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Lyft cars doing away with pink furry mustache

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

     
    Hard Rock (again) dips toe into Atlantic City casino market

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    US stock market finishes with small gains

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    IBM disputes report that big layoffs coming

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Union says California Kaiser nurses reach contract agreement

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Boeing, SpaceX will beat Russia on price for astronaut rides

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    CBO: Deficit to shrink to lowest level of Obama presidency

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Eurozone looks for dialogue after stunning Greece elections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    S&P downgrades Russia credit rating to junk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Donald Wesley Johnson

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Rose is Rose Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Beetle Bailey Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Get Fuzzy Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    B.C. Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Cryptoquote Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    For Better or Worse Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Dilbert Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Bridge Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Crossword Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baby Blues Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Sally Forth Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Baldo Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Wizard of Id Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Word Sleuth Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Frank and Ernest Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sudoku Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Blondie Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Zits Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4