Friday, May 14, 2010

Back in Time: 1993 - 1994: The Who's Tommy, Part 4

At long last, here is the final installment of this series of blogs on The Who's Tommy.  In previous blogs, I discussed the show itself, the creative team behind the show, and the supporting cast

Today, I'm looking at the principal cast.  As I explained in the last blog, the show was billed completely as an ensemble show, with no one considered a lead.  But for the purposes of argument and symmetry with the other blog series on Drood, I am considering the Walker family as the principal cast - Uncle Ernie, Cousin Kevin, Captain and Mrs. Walker, and, of course, Tommy.

Anyway, here a look at the Walkers of The Who's Tommy.

Paul Kandel - Uncle Ernie

  • Before Tommy: The Visit (1992 revival)
  • During Tommy: Mr. Kandel earned a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor for his work on the show.
  • After Tommy: Titanic, Jesus Christ Superstar (revival - King Herod)

Anthony Barrile - Cousin Kevin

  • Before Tommy: Stand-Up Tragedy
  • During Tommy: Barrile, among other things, rolled a "little Tommy" around the stage in a trash can.
  • After Tommy: Returned to Broadway this season as a producer of Best Play nominee Next Fall

The Lads: Christian Hoff, Anthony Barrile, Donnie Kehr

Barrile is a producer of Next Fall

Jonathan Dokuchitz - Captain Walker

  • Before Tommy: Into the Woods (original production - replacement Rapunzel's Prince)
  • During Tommy: "Jumped out" of a warplane, killed his wife's lover...
  • After Tommy: Company (1995 revival), Dream, Hairspray, The Boys from Syracuse, The Look of Love

In Tommy (far right)

In Hairspray (center) as Corny Collins

In The Look of Love (top right)

Marcia Mitzman - Mrs. Walker

  • Before Tommy:  Grease (original production - replacement Rizzo), Oliver! (u/s to Patti LuPone), Chess (Svetlana), Welcome to the Club
  • During Tommy: Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her work as Mrs. Walker
  • After Tommy: Mitzman has no further Broadway credits to date.

In Tommy

Michael Cerveris - Tommy

  • During Tommy: Cerveris made his Broadway debut in Tommy, earning a Theatre World award and a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical
  • After Tommy: Titanic, Assassins (Tony winner - Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Sweeney Todd (Tony nomination - Best Leading Actor in a Musical), Lovemusik (Tony nomination - Best Leading Actor in a Musical), Cymbeline, Hedda Gabler, In the Next Room: The Vibrator Play

In Tommy

In Assassins (2nd from left) as John Wilkes Booth

In Sweeney Todd with Patti LuPone

In Shakespeare's Cymbaline with Martha Plimpton

In In the Next Room: The Vibrator Play with Laura Benanti

I find it interesting in summary that while the cast as a whole was generally in the same place career-wise when they were brought together as the original cast of Tommy, many cast members really flourished and others simply dropped off the Broadway map.

Comments?  Have an idea of a show that had lots of people going on to other things?  Leave your idea here or eail me at

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