By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – British rock band The Who’s world-famous rock opera ‘Tommy’ is touching down in the Cidade Maravilhosa for one night only when it arrives this Friday, March 22nd, at Vivo Rio.
The rock opera follows the story of Tommy, a seemingly deaf, dumb and blind boy who becomes a pinball champion and religious leader. One of the first rock operas, Tommy was originally released as an album by The Who in 1969, but gained even more fame with the release of a 1975 film adaptation by Ken Russell.
The film featured a cast which included the band members, Oliver Reed, Eric Clapton, Ann-Margret, Tina Turner, Jack Nicholson and Elton John. Now the film has been turned into a live musical that is touring the globe, with all the original characters and songs.
This production of The Who’s ‘Tommy’ presents a scintillating show for all ages, with eight musicians and nine actors, plus projections of the original film and rock concert lighting.
Interviewed by Jornal no Palco, the director of the show, Alan Veste, comments, “I’ve heard a lot about the audiences in Brazil, that they like to see a good show and have fun. The show is a fantastic event with lots of surprises, lots of musicians, all live and with a really cool look.”
He continues, “It’s going to be basically a version of Ken Russell’s movie on stage. All the characters in the feature will be featured in this musical.”
“The vocalists and the band will be featured in The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, Uncle Ernie and Cousin Kevin. We will have a projector that will show images of the film.” Veste adds.
For fans of the rock band – who famously visited the Cidade Maravilhosa in 2017 for a headline set at Rock in Rio – there are plenty of surprises in store over this three hour show. Veste explains, “The first half of the show is Tommy in its entirety.”
“The second half of the show is ‘Lifehouse Chronical,’ which is The Who’s next album. So all the songs that are on this will also be played live. Songs like ‘Baba O’Riley,’ ‘Going Mobile,’ ‘Will not Get Fooled Again,’ among others, will be presented in the second part of the show.” He concludes.
The band took an amazing fifty-three years to come to Brazil, when they made their debut in 2017. However, when speaking to O Globo, guitar legend Pete Townshend claimed to be a fan of Brazilian music, especially Gilberto Gil, which he described as something akin to ‘beach music,’ with an “interesting chord formation and melody.”