Who leader Pete Townshend and director Des McAnuff reuniting at La Jolla Playhouse for ‘Tommy’ concert

Benefit event set for Oct. 14 at the theater where the musical adaptation of The Who’s classic album was developed and sent to Broadway in early ‘90s


A quarter-century ago, “The Who’s Tommy” made an amazing journey (to quote one of the show’s song titles) from La Jolla Playhouse to Broadway, where the rock musical won five Tony Awards and ran for more than two years.

Now the Playhouse is celebrating “Tommy” — and the 50th anniversary of the Who album that inspired the show — with a special benefit concert Oct. 14.

Original “Tommy” director and former Playhouse artistic chief Des McAnuff, who also co-wrote the musical’s book, is directing the staged concert.

And besides performances by members of the original “Tommy” Broadway cast, the event also will feature an onstage appearance by Pete Townshend, co-founder and guitarist for The Who and composer-lyricist, co-writer and principal creator of the musical. (Details of Townshend’s appearance have not been announced.)

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Playhouse’s Mandell Weiss Theatre; proceeds go toward the theater’s artistic, education and outreach programs, including those benefiting military families. The Weiss Theatre is located in the Playhouse/UCSD Theatre District, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive in La Jolla.

Tickets are $500-$1,000, with added perks at the higher price levels. For purchase or more information, call (858) 550-1010 or go to