After a Brief Run, ‘Tommy’ Revival to Close on Broadway

A revival of “The Who’s Tommy” that arrived on Broadway three decades after a successful original production will end its run on July 21. The show opened strong but faced dwindling sales at the box office.

The production, which had a successful pre-Broadway run in Chicago, will now pin its hopes on a national tour, beginning in Providence, R.I., in the fall of 2025.

With a rock score by Pete Townshend, “Tommy” dates back to a 1969 album from the Who; the original Broadway production opened in 1993 and ran for a little more than two years.

Set in London, the show has a wild plot: A young man who loses the ability to hear, speak and see in response to childhood trauma develops a gift for pinball that allows him to attract a cultlike following.

The revival began its life last year at the Goodman Theater in Chicago; the Broadway production began previews on March 8 and opened on March 28 at the Nederlander Theater. At the time of its closing, the revival will have played 20 previews and 132 regular performances on Broadway.

Des McAnuff, who directed the original production, returned to direct the revival. Townshend and McAnuff collaborated on the show’s book.

The revival, starring Ali Louis Bourzgui in the title role, scored mostly positive reviews, but The New York Times, which can have an outsize influence, was an outlier: Jesse Green, its chief theater critic, characterized the show as featuring “relentless noise and banal imagery.”

The production was nominated for a Tony Award for best musical revival but lost to “Merrily We Roll Along.”

“Tommy,” with Stephen Gabriel and Ira Pittelman as lead producers, was capitalized for $15.7 million, according to a spokesman. That money has not been recouped.

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