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Aspire Community Theatre's "The Who's Tommy"

Abel Siemens, Paisley Siemens, Eli Underhill and Presley DuPuis (L–R) of Aspire Community Theatre's The Who's Tommy in the SPR performance space
Savanna Rothe
/
Spokane Public Radio
Abel Siemens, Paisley Siemens, Eli Underhill and Presley DuPuis (L–R) of Aspire Community Theatre's The Who's Tommy in the SPR performance space

Cast and creatives showcase and discuss their new staging of the rock musical

Presley DuPuis, Abel Siemens, Paisley Siemens and Eli Underhill came into the KPBX studio to talk about Aspire Community Theatre's new production of The Who's Tommy, a stage musical adaptation of The Who's 1969 classic rock concept album.

Paisley Siemens is choreographing this show, which is directed by Trigger Weddle. Abel Siemens is starring as the titular Tommy as an adult. Underhill plays the abusive Cousin Kevin, and DuPuis is Aspire's resident music director.

Prior to the interview, Abel Siemens and DuPuis performed the song “Sensation” live in the SPR performance space.

The four guests chatted about some of the darker aspects of the musical, the set design and the ways in which the musical departs from the seminal album. DuPuis mentioned that there is a more "redemptive" arc in the musical and that the orchestration differs without sacrificing the rock roots.

Paisley Siemens talked about how her choreography creates visual metaphors for the onstage action; Abel shared what the song "Sensation" means to his character, a traumatized young man who finds salvation in pinball. As Cousin Kevin has a hand in that trauma, Underhill described what it was like to play his malevolent character.

Following the interview, DuPuis returned to the SPR performance space to accompany Underhill in the song "Cousin Kevin," which reveals some of the cruelties to which he subjects Tommy.

Aspire's production of The Who's Tommy opens this Friday (Oct. 6) at the Salvation Army Kroc Center Theater in Coeur d'Alene and runs there until October 15.

For tickets or more information, visit the Aspire Community Theatre website or call the Aspire box office on (208) 696-4228.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director