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Pete Townshend Writes New Song for Stage Production of the Who’s ‘Tommy’

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Nearly 50 years after it was released, the Who‘s classic Tommy is getting a new song. Specifically, the new tune — penned by Who co-founder Pete Townshend — has been earmarked for the new stage production of the musical inspired by the concept album. As Townshend explained in a press release, he was moved to contribute new material to the show after learning it would offer opportunities for actors with disabilities.

“When I heard the there was a new planned production of Tommy, I was pleased, of course,” said Townshend. “But when I heard they planned to do a production featuring actors with disabilities of various kinds, that will actually throw new light on the original story, I became very excited. This is a totally new adventure, and really does refer back to my original story in which a young man, disabled by extreme trauma, finds his way to some kind of spiritual place because he can FEEL music. I can’t wait to see it.”

The new number, “Acid Queen 2,” is described as “the torch song” for the show in a BBC report that also quotes Peter Straker, the actor playing the Acid Queen character. Describing himself as “quite elated” to perform it, Straker explained the Acid Queen’s journey leading up to the song’s appearance in the show.

“The Acid Queen is a shaman-like character, a very powerful figure,” said Straker. “But in Act Two she hasn’t healed Tommy and the song deals with how you deal with fame when it’s faded.”

The new stage production of The Who’s Tommy is scheduled to open at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich on March 30. Visit the venue’s site for detailed information on the cast and crew or to purchase tickets, and check out the teaser trailer for the show above.

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