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Review: 'The Who's Tommy'

Bay Street Theatre's production of The Who's Tommy, directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, is a child of hardcore rock married to a dark, melodramatic story line, abetted by loud, intense songs.

Euan Morton plays Tommy, a traumatized child trapped in a young man's body, with gentle intensity and luminosity. He is a center of light in this very busy production. He is ably complemented by Noah Galvin as Tommy's 4-year-old self. Both sing the heartfelt anthem "See Me, Feel Me" with purity and clarity, but the production's six-piece band often overwhelms the singers — despite their mikes — making the story, which is told entirely through the lyrics, that much harder to follow.

Liz Pearce and Mike McGowan also sing with strength and anguish as Tommy's parents, Captain and Mrs. Walker. The sexual heat between them — a vital element to the story — is palpable. Josh Walden acts, sings, and dances forcefully as Tommy's tormenting punk cousin, Kevin, and Paul Binotto is greasily sleazy as Uncle Ernie. Shelby Braxton-Brooks is both sexy and powerful as the drug-addicted Gypsy. While Dodge coordinates her energetic ensemble well, the musical only soars when Morton is on stage.

Gary Hygom has designed a dramatic, versatile set for the theatre's small thrust stage, one that integrates Wendell K. Harrington's projections. Martha Bromelmeier's costumes for the all-important pinball scenes are cleverly reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland chess game.

The Who's Tommy runs June 13-July 9 at Bay Street Theatre, Bay and Main streets, Sag Harbor, N.Y. Tickets: (631) 725-9500. Website: www.baystreet.org.

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