Rehearsing Pinball Wizard
Although the most of the production of Tommy arrived virtually intact from the La Jolla Playhouse, Michael's showstopping reprise of "Pinball Wizard" was added later in time for the Broaday debut.
This is probably one of the five greatest rock and roll songs of all time so it was somewhat intimidating thinking about staging it.
- Des McAnuff
In order to get up there and act like a rock star, you have to feel legitimate. What I'm drawing on is the experience of being on stage and playing with Pete Townshend. That was the ultimate rock-and-roll experience for me!
- Michael Cerveris
In thinking about staging this number, I watched Jailhouse Rock and other old Elvis Presley movies. In fact, I actually developed some of the dance sequence movements for "Pinball Wizard" based on a photo of Elvis.
- Wayne Cilento, Choreographer
The idea was the bronco buster at Gilley's. I'm from Dallas, I know those machines. Showtech worked on it, did several tests in the shop, programmed it, brought it into the theater and worked on it with Michael Cerveris, who is protected by the flames by a wall of safety glass.
-John Arnone, Set Designer
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