Ticket for Tommy

Ticket for Tommy

Photo by Ron Amato

As a teenager I spent many hours down in Dave Scalese’s basement listening to the The Who’s Tommy album. The Who was a favorite of Dave’s and since he was the techno geek with a basement, that’s where my group of friends spent most of it’s time. When Tommy the movie was released in 1975, it was a big event for me and my friends. On the weekend of my 14Th birthday we traveled to the famous Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan to see the movie. For many of us it was our first time in Manhattan without our parents. This trip began my lifelong love affair with the city. (Don’t judge me too harshly for the picture below. It was the 70s! Why didn’t anyone tell me my sleeves were so short?)

It seemed only fitting that when the Broadway production of Tommy opened in 1993, I took Dave and his wife Lauri’s two girls Debbie and Danielle to see the show. I was already a working photographer so I was particularly interested in the use of projections in the show. I was blown away by what I saw. It seemed a perfect marriage of my two loves, photography and theater. Those ground-breaking projections were designed by Wendall Harrington. Little did I know I would eventually cross paths with Wendall.

Fast forward to 2006. I am in grad school. I’m in a new program at LIU titled New Media Art and Performance. I could have done a degree in photography but I wanted to do something new and fun that would stretch me as an artist. Through some connections at the school, I got to apprentice Wendall Harrington on the Broadway production of Grey Gardens. As it turns out Wendall is the mensch of all menches and has become a good friend, confidant and mentor since.

In the fall of 2008, Seth and I went to see a production at Gallery Players in Brooklyn directed be my friend Neal Freeman. Neal mentioned that Gallery was doing a production of The Who’s Tommy in the spring. I knew it would be a perfect circle if I got to design the projections for a production of Tommy. I asked Neal to pass my name along. He did, and I was contacted by the producer Katie Adams.

So here I am this Monday morning, after the opening weekend of Tommy, closing the circle.

Tommy opened this weekend at Gallery Players. The process was often difficult but by all accounts it is a huge success. I can sincerely recommend this production as 2 hours of pure joy. I am humbled to be part of it. The dedication and talent of the cast and crew was overwhelming. The work stretched me in ways I hadn’t imagined. I am extremely proud of my contribution to the show.

The show runs for the next three weekends. The information is below. Let me know if you are going and I will try to be there. (I won’t be around Memorial Day weekend.)

Hope to see you at the theater,
(Thanks for reading to the end.)

Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
Book by Des McAnuff and Pete Townshend
Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon

or 212-352-3101

Subscriber Only hotline:
(718) 595-0547 x1

Adults: $18
Seniors and Children under 12: $14

For a $2.00 discount on Thursdays at 8 PM or Saturday matinees at 2 PM use code ACID. Code good for advance purchases only. Not available at the door.

May 2 – 24, 2009