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Des McAnuff

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  • What about the boy? In 'Tommy,' new insights into Pete Townshend

    What about the boy? In 'Tommy,' new insights into Pete Townshend
    When, in 1975, the movie director Ken Russell turned "Tommy," an album by The Who, into a film, catapulting the Pinball Wizard to further glory, he made one particularly notable change: He switched the period of the rock opera from the years following World War I to the years following World War II. This necessitated changing the title of one of Pete Townshend's rock numbers ("1921" became "1951"), but the benefit was not just a more contemporary milieu (back in '75, at least) but a period that more closely charted Townshend's own life.
  • 'The Who's Tommy' comes to Paramount

    Tom Vendafreddo, music director, conductor and keyboardist for the Paramount Theatre’s production of “The Who’s Tommy,” believes that Pete Townshend of the ’60s and ’70s British rock group The Who changed the course...

    Review: 'The Who's Tommy' at Paramount Theatre

    Review: 'The Who's Tommy' at Paramount Theatre
    In the summer of 1968, Pete Townshend gave a lengthy interview to Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone about the future direction of The Who, Townshend's rock band. "We've been talking about doing an opera," he said. "We've been talking about doing, like, albums,...

    'Doctor Zhivago' Musical Aims to Sweep Broadway Off Its Feet

    The long-aborning musical "Doctor Zhivago" has locked in its Broadway home at last, with producers booking an April opening at the Broadway Theater. The stage adaptation of the epic historical romance, based on the 1957 Boris Pasternak novel that was...

    Theater in Winter 2015: Puppets, 'Godot' and a busy Berry

    Theater in Winter 2015: Puppets, 'Godot' and a busy Berry
    The winter season in Chicago theater features festivals, large-cast epics and revivals with a twist. Out of the scores of shows opening in the next few weeks at Chicago theaters, here are 10 that, for one reason or another, I'm anticipating with...