The Who's Tommy

Natasha Daly, foreground, is pictured rehearsing a scene from The Who’s Tommy. The Broadway musical opens Thursday at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

After nearly a year of preparation, Theatre Kelowna is ready to present The Who’s “Tommy,” next week at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

“You know, I discovered” musical theatre relatively late in life.  I just never really got into it,” director and co-producer Randall Robinson said.

“Then I auditioned for Jesus Christ Superstar and everything changed. Over the years, there have been a handful of iconic shows, like JC, that have really made an impact, not only on the cast and band, but also the audience. Sometimes profoundly. I believe Tommy is one of these iconic shows.”

The musical runs Sept. 12-15 with all shows at 7:30 p.m.

The show coincides with the 50th anniversary of the album “Tommy,” released in 1969.

Pat Brown is the co-producer while others involved behind the scenes include Trevor Evans, creative consultant and video; Christine Daley, production manager; Anne Ramey, costumes and DeAnna MacArthur, choreography.

Robinson said fans shouldn’t expect a remake of the 1975 film, which starred Ann Margaret and Elton John. Although the movie was a commercial success and earned several Academy Award nominations, it’s much different from the stage version.

“I think people will be surprised at how strong and compelling the actual story is in this theatrical version. There’s a reason Tommy won five Tony Awards on Broadway, and the original concept album has sold more than 20-million copies. 

“We’ve assembled some of the finest talent from throughout the Okanagan, including a nine-piece rock band complete with horns, who will perform on stage with the cast. It will be one for the books.”

The cast includes: Mitchell Lynch-Brown, Ethan Landygo and Logan Daly, all as Tommy at different ages, and Natasha Daly (Mrs. Walker), Pat Brown (Captain Walker), Josh Richardson (Cousin Kevin), John VanDyk (Uncle Ernie), Annie Scott (Acid Queen), Jimmy LeGuilloux (The Lover) and Kirsti Hack (Sally Simpson).

The ensemble includes Cate Critchlow, Julia McKibbon, Anne Ramey, Casey Daly, Beth Scott, Meghan McLaren, Alex Holzhaus, Scotty Parkin, Griffith Evan Roberts, Sean Singleton, Trystin Simon, Bill Watt and Curtis Lloyd.

The cast is evenly divided between residenst of Kelowna and Penticton..

The nine-piece Tommy band features guitarists Brian McLennan and Dustin McGifford, bass player Phil D’Aoust, Celeste Hook and Vytas Synkevicius on keyboards, drummer Scott Gamble and the horn section of Mike Schell, Chris Manuel and Rob Crawford.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 on the day of the show and available in advance from SelectYourTickets. Thursday’s opening night includes a gala.