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Radiant Theatre *R*A*W*K*S "The Who's Tommy"

From the opening strains, the floor is vibrating. Actors run up and down unseen stairs, swiftly and deftly changing from costumed character to character costume in ironic near-complete-secrecy and willing-openness. It is this "in your face" (literally) opening which sets the stage (again literally) for Radiant Theatre's newest rock opera "The Who's Tommy" which literally ROCKS.
If you love The Who's Tommy, you need to see this show.

As Tommy's Mom, the mysterious Ashly Will's voice kept my mind racing like I wanted to find out what was behind the next corner. As Tommy's Dad, Royal Hebert reminded me of my dad and made me feel all gushy inside! As Uncle Tommy & his Wife, Ira Kortum and Laura Beth Olson illustrate in the clearest way of any TOMMY production I have ever seen the depth of relationship between the two.

Ian Anderson-Priddy is the most vivacious, real, finest, true blue musical performer I have ever seen. His acting is not only believable, but his character grows and changes so much in the final scene when Tommy forgives him and gives him unconditional love that I thought that I would melt with pity and love myself. When he takes over baby-sitting Tommy after his drunken, pedophiliac father "Uncle Ernie" (an apt Ira Kortum) goes home, his song of torment to the truly aware young Tommy (Jeff Quigley) leaves no room for improvement. He is mean, nasty, sick and just OH SO CUTE!

Zac Taylor sings Tommy like you were attending the show for the very first time. He (in fact, the entire cast) transported me into a world where one has had to endure a lot of hoops, crazy falls and twists and turns before finally realizing the love for yourself, within yourself, and in everyone else. Thanks, Zac, for that, and thanks for encouraging other people to come OUT, be FREE, be YOURSELF, and see yourself in others and them in yourself.

Every actor had their moment to shine. So many of them hadn't been in a play in so long (if ever) that the connection woven between them and the audience was intensely amazing. There was always something going on wherever I looked, and every character had an opinion about what was happening. Yet when you weren't looking directly at them, they melded into the perfect Ensemble in voice and motion.

Mariah Anderson was the archangel herself when she raises her arms into second position during the number "Welcome." She could be the next Buster Keaton.

Helena Greathouse's newsboy character took me to another place—that of one where the media decides what we think. I thought that place was in another country and in another time. I know now I was wrong when I looked in the mirror.

Rian Turner turned me on when he brings out his precious pinball machine, devotedly caressing it as if a first lover.

Tiger Fifer is the hottest woman I have ever seen. She can be my Acid Queen any day.

Marty Gallagher's detailed and very complex sound design kept the music and the actors alive under the dim light and the pretty darn cool slide show (if you like to look)! His tight mind and fingers on the board were the glue that held it all together.

Director Ravyn Jazper-Hawke has done her job well. She has assembled a talented, loving group of actors committed to bringing the audience an experience you'll never forget, and she has collected a band of the highest caliber, led by guitarist Delonde Bell.

There is too much great music, colors, costumes and more than I can describe. You will be listening to the performers, and then realize that they are really listening... to... ... YOU.

Come for a good time. You just may find it.
I agree! 27.May.2006 01:52

a radiant fan!

their website is  http://www.radianttheatre.org