As “Tommy” fever hits town, here’s a fun tidbit to share with your friends. You can actually play a game of pinball on a vintage The Who’s Tommy Pinball Wizard machine installed in the lobby of the Dan Pessano Theatre before the show or during intermission.
For my preview article on the StageWorks Fresno production, which opens Friday, July 1, I focused on ensemble cast member Michael Argain, a major-league “Tommy” fan who tracked down the pinball machine for sale in South Carolina, had it shipped across the country, painstakingly restored it and set it up in his living room. (Yes, he basically fulfilled the quintessential adolescent-boy fantasy, at least from earlier decades: the chance to play pinball for free for as long as you want.)
Does he play it a lot? Um, yeah. He’s so good he has the high U.S. score for the machine.
The takeaway: Don’t forget your quarters when you come to “Tommy.” It’ll cost you 50 cents for a chance to be a pinball wizard.