Monday, December 15, 2008
TOMMY 15th Anniversary Reunion Concert
The 2-LP set by The Who, the hypervisual film version, the 2-LP soundtrack album starring Ann-Margret: in my flood of fond childhood Tommy memories I'd forgotten one thing: I didn't like it as a Broadway musical. I only remembered this during the first minutes of the Original Broadway Cast reunion concert, fearing a long night of chair-bound performers and weakened classic rock. I needn't have feared: the concert (a one night only benefit for Rockers On Broadway) quickly took on its own resonance. So many performers well known to us now - Sherie Rene Scott, Norm Lewis, Alice Ripley, Christian Hoff - laboring away in the chorus again, just as they had when Tommy was first on the boards. Others we haven't seen enough of since - like Cheryl Freeman, the Acid Queen - blowing the roof off the place one more time as if not a day had passed. And at the center Michael Cerveris, now a full-out Tony-winning Broadway star, bringing credible rock vocal chops to the title role. The concert, which included video projections which on numerous occasions displayed scenes of the original Broadway production, became less about the material and more about watching virtually everyone involved step up and hit the mark, turning a decade and a half into the blink of an eye.