Pete performs with cast of The Who's Tommy at the Tony Awards

Tony Awards


Three decades after the original Broadway musical production of Tommy picked up five Tony Awards in 1993, Pete Townshend made a return appearance at the Tony Awards on Sunday. He introduced and performed with the cast of the smash hit revival of The Who's Tommy, which was nominated for Best Revival of a Musical.

The 77th Annual Tony Awards took place at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater in New York City on June 16, 2024, and was broadcast live on CBS in the US.

The revival of The Who’s Tommy opened at the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway on March 28, 2024 to much critical acclaim and box office success, after it's debut run of sold out shows at the Goodman Theatre last year in Chicago. It has already received numerous awards and nominations, including the prestigious Tony nomination. This modern day rendition of Tommy is directed by Des McAnuff, who won the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical for the original 1993 production.

At the 2024 Tony Awards ceremony, Pete delivered a heart felt speech about bringing Tommy back to Broadway, before being joined by Ali Bourzgui and the rest of the cast of Tommy, who performed a medley of See Me Feel Me, and Pinball Wizard. Pete performed acoustic guitar at the beginning of Pinball Wizard, then left the stage to allow the full blown production to take over and finish with an explosive performance.

The award for Best Revival of a Musical came at the end of the night. The list of nominees included The Who’s Tommy, Merrily We Roll Along, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, and Gutenberg! The Musical! Unfortunately, Tommy did not win, and the Tony was awarded to the sentimental favorite, the late Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, which starred Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez.

To view the 77th Annual Tony Awards in the US, CBS has posted the whole show up on

Congratulations to Pete Townshend and the cast and crew of The Who’s Tommy for the nomination and their fantastic performance at the Tony Awards!



Tony AwardsPete performs the opening of Pinball Wizard at the Tony Awards.

Tony Awards


In his introduction, Pete opened with a joke about wearing his trademark red beanie knit cap. Here is Pete's full speech. "To beanie or not to beanie... I’ve decided I’d wear it. I’ve been sailing and I’m a bit sunburned and spotty. It’s so great to be here. In 1968, when I first started putting the songs together, I was 24 and I was putting the songs together for Tommy. I hoped to do something which would string a lot of rock songs together and tell a story. I didn’t really think very deeply about what I was doing. And I had no idea that it would lead me here… twice. Because the last time I was here I got two Tony Awards! There’s nothing more romantic than that. Even for me, I’ve been on the romantic, the upside and the downside, of rock and roll. For me, when Des and I finished in Chicago with Tommy where it went on first, we thought well, what do we want to do next? We said we want to come back to Broadway! Even if we make no money, we want to come back to Broadway. We’re thrilled that the audience is moved by the humanity of the story, because it is a human story. It’s about good parenting, and bad parenting, and that’s really what is the issue for all of us today. And if theatre can touch on any of that, if it can open any doors for many young girls who are anxious or thinking about suicide, and some of them have committed suicide, that would be great. Because… we are about to perform for you with the company of The Who’s Tommy a bit of the show!"


Tony AwardsPete gives a short introduction before performing with cast.

Tony Awards


Before the show, Pete Townshend hit the red carpet with his wife Rachel and Tommy's director Des McAnuff to pose for photos and give a few interviews.

Here is what Pete had to say on the red carpet.

"You know, in music theatre I think in particular, there are two important points. The interval, when you go back to the bar and somebody says “What do you think of the show so far?” and the ride home. You know, and I want to be there. So actually being in the audience with a crowd, I get a sense, I got an intuition for how well it’s going. It’s been great. I’ve loved it."

"So many issues that we deal with today, particularly with our kids living in social media, gives us an expression which is that the iphones that we all look in now are like the mirror in Tommy. It’s a very succinct reflection of what it is that I feel we’re facing today with kids growing up, you know, with tremendous anxiety, with suicide issues, and acting out sometimes. You know, the story of Tommy was written when I was looking back at my post-war childhood thinking, if you don’t mind my saying this, our parents f*cked up. And it would be tragic to allow this to happen again. We’ve had no war, you know, we’ve got climate change, we’ve got some big issues. But let’s now leave our children to do whatever it is they want to do. And they need to be guided, and they need to be cared for. Tommy is a lesson, but it’s fun, too."


Tony AwardsPete and Des McAnuff on the red carpet at the Tony Awards.

Tony AwardsPete and Rachel on the red carpet at the Tony Awards.