It was like old times, almost, at the opening-night performance of "The Who's Tommy" on Friday night at the Universal Amphitheatre. The sounds of one of the consummate, hard-core, rock 'n' roll party bands of the late '60s and '70s prompted recollections of bygone youth--sweet recollections.
"They used to smash up their instruments all over the place," Linda LoRe, chairwoman of Giorgio Beverly Hills, recalled wistfully. "This was the toned-down version, but I felt like I was in high school again."
"I started college in '67--this is a soundtrack of my college years," producer Steve Tisch said.
"I still have things missing from my eardrums from Who concerts I attended," said Gary Goldberg, also among the opening-night crowd.
But the that-was-then, this-is-now ambience included a lack of illegal substances in this audience.
After all, the event was partly business--a "network-fest," as one mid-level Fox television executive put it with mock pleasure. The operatic saga of the "deaf, dumb and blind kid" was the centerpiece of an evening benefiting Children's Action Network and Education First!, entertainment industry-based nonprofit charities for kids.