Rock Opera Opens Wednesday in Gaede

April 4-7 | 7:30 p.m | Gaede Stage

Tommy, a rock opera based on The Who’s 1969 rock concept album, opens on the Gaede Stage Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Saturday. MSUM’s Commercial Ensemble will perform the rock score’s instrumental music, and all the actors other than two children are musical theatre students from MSUM. Professional lighting designer Jeff Brown, himself an MSUM alumni with his own design company in Duluth, designed the lighting for the show. Tommy tells the story of a young boy who, after witnessing the accidental murder of his mother’s lover by his father, is traumatized into catatonia. As Tommy grows, he suffers abuse at the hands of his sadistic relatives and neighbors. As an adolescent, he’s discovered to have an uncanny knack for playing pinball, and when his mother finally breaks through his catatonia, he becomes an international pinball superstar.  Tommy’s fame ultimately wanes and he is left with his family, whom he ultimately forgives. The Who’s Tommy is an exhilarating story of hope, healing, and the human spirit. For tickets, go to