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Tell me, who are you? (My parents encounter Pete Townshend)

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My parents went to see the Stratford production of Tommy last week. I was wondering what they’d think of it, given its somewhat dark subject matter and the fact that they aren’t especially fans of The Who’s music.

But they came back with good reviews of the effects-laden production. Mom reported that director Des McAnuff had been at this preview performance, promising the audience that he would paper over any glitches as needed, but I guess none were apparent, anyway.

The next day, I read that not only had McAnuff been in attendance, but Mr. Pete Townshend himself had appeared to take a curtain call that night.

When I asked my parents about it later, Dad said, “You know, I wondered if that guy on stage at the end was Pete Townshend!”

“He asked me if that’s who it was,” confirmed Mom. “I said, ‘How the heck would I know?’’’

“He sure got a lot of applause, though,” she added. “So we just applauded, too.”

So that was kind of funny. (And a generational note that, in fact, my parents are much closer in age to Mr. Townshend than I am. But they are on the older side of him, and I am on the younger, and in popular music, that’s usually a big divide.)

Pete Townshend seems to be making a bit of the rounds of Canadian media, appearing on Q with Jian Ghomeshi yesterday (as were McAnuff and some of the cast), and having a big interview in the Toronto Star today. Townshend’s own review of the Tommy revival is as follows:

They’re an extraordinary company. They certainly know how to rock. The technology is great. The show looks great. I’m in a sense still reeling from the impact of it. It’s quite a journey.

I have my own tickets to the show for July, and I’m quite looking forward to it, even though I won’t be getting any rock star appearances, as The Who will be touring Europe at that point.

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