Grandstreet Theatre

Tommy: Press Release

“He’s a Pinball Wizard!”

Grandstreet Theatre kicks off its 2009-10 season with The Who’s Tommy, a spectacular stage version of the rock opera classic!

July 31 – August 15, 2009
Wednesday thru Saturday at 8:00 pm
Sunday matinees: August 2 and 9 at 2:00 pm

Grandstreet Theatre is located at 325 N. Park Ave. in downtown Helena

Call Grandstreet’s Box Office for reservations: (406) 447-1574
Or order anytime online:

$16 for tickets, $14 for students, seniors and military


Grandstreet’s 2009-10 Season kicks off with a modern rock classic brought to life: The Who’s Tommy. The tale of a young boy’s journey from pain to triumph has been called “the most electrifying evening of rock and roll ever to play in a theatre.”

When the double album Tommy was release on vinyl in 1969, a new era was born. Written by The Who’s guitarist Pete Townshend, Tommy is a full story told on one album. A new term was born: Rock Opera. While not the first rock opera (The Pretty Things’ S. F. Sorrow gets that title), Tommy changed the way we listen to an album, inspiring latter classic album’s like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage. The format was borrowed by Andrew Lloyd Weber; his musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita were originally released as rock opera concept albums.

In 1993, director Des McAnuff created the stage version of Tommy for Broadway. Caught in a run-down seaside resort, Tommy is saddled with a frightening family. A horrid event leaves him deaf, dumb and blind. But Tommy’s fortune changes when the young boy discovers the pinball machine. Led by an inner vision, Tommy becomes a worldwide sensation as “The Pinball Wizard” and life guru. But is Tommy ready for super-stardom?

Tommy stars Michael Curtin (Spelling Bee, Secret Garden) as the pinball genius. Also in the cast as Allison Newman as Mrs. Walker, Errol Koch as Mr. Walker, Sarah Yeakel as the Gypsy Queen, and an ensemble of 20 young, talented performers. The show is directed by Barry James (Josh in Grandstreet’s Big!), with choreography by Lysa Fox and set & costume design by Jeff Downing.

Tommy is presented by Grandstreet’s Summer Conservatory. Local teens and young adults are joined by actors & singers from across the country, in a program that includes education and performance. The performers teach classes at GST’s Summer Theatre Camp in the morning, or take classes themselves, followed by a full eight hours of rehearsal!

The hardest thing about casting the show was the volume of actors that auditioned. “I may have seen over 600 performers,” says Marianne Adams, Education Director & Producer of Tommy. “Every musical actor aspires for this show. The talent that we ended up with…simply extraordinary!”

Tommy is full of heart, great music, wonderful choreography and summertime fun. Make sure not to miss this season opener – a show you’ll talk about for a long time! Tommy contains some adult situations.

Grandstreet Theatre welcomes the press to follow the opening and run of The Who’s Tommy. Please contact Stephen Alexander: 442.4270, or [email protected]