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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stratford Festival achieves a new Guinness World Records' goal at Pinballapalooza

The Stratford Festival is officially home of one of the newest GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. One hundred “pinball wizards” took over First Canadian Place in Toronto on May 16 to successfully log the greatest number of pinball machines being played simultaneously at a single venue.

Participants synchronically launched their silver balls and played one complete game as hundreds of onlookers cheered from the sidelines. The record was made official by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator Philip Robertson.

An exciting event to celebrate the opening of the Festival’s much-anticipated rock musical, Tommy, Pinballapalooza also featured spectacular performances by Tommy cast members Robert Markus, Paul Nolan, Gabriel Antonacci and Matthew Armet.


Tommy is the biggest musical we have ever mounted in Stratford,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney, “and what better way to celebrate it than by throwing a larger-than-life pinball tournament that would impress even Tommy, the pinball wizard himself.

“It was very rewarding to see so many people come out in support of this event. Whether they came to play pinball, to catch a sneak peek at our sensational production or just to be a part of history, it was a fun opportunity to showcase our theatre to a wider audience.”

For those who could not attend, the Festival offers two other opportunities to practise your pinball moves: a Tommy-inspired pinball machine found at different locations in Stratford throughout the season and a virtual pinball game at tommypinball.com.

Based on The Who’s 1969 concept album of the same name, Tommy tells the story of a young man who, despite having lost the faculties of speech, sight and hearing, becomes a pinball virtuoso – and the centre of a celebrity cult. In a new production helmed by its original Tony Award-winning director, Des McAnuff (who co-wrote the show with The Who’s Pete Townshend), the explosive rock opera features such unforgettable hits as “Pinball Wizard,” “See Me, Feel Me,” “Acid Queen” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

The production features Robert Markus as Tommy, Jewelle Blackman as the Gypsy, Kira Guloien as Mrs. Walker, Jeremy Kushnier as Captain Walker, Paul Nolan as Cousin Kevin and Steve Ross as Uncle Ernie.

Choreographer Wayne Cilento, Set Designer John Arnone, Costume Designer David C. Woolard and Fight Director Steve Rankin, key members of the original creative team, have reunited for this production to join Musical Director and Supervisor Rick Fox, Lighting Designer Howell Binkley, Sound Designer Andrew Keister, and Projection Designer Sean Nieuwenhuis.

Tommy officially opens on May 30 and runs until October 19. For tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.
Tommy is sponsored by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Production support is generously provided by Richard Rooney & Laura Dinner and by the Ontario government.

Support for the 2013 season of the Avon Theatre is generously provided by the Birmingham Family.

Stratford Direct, the new daily return private bus service between Toronto and Stratford, began May 1. Departing once daily from May 1 to 25 and October 1 to 20 and twice daily from May 27 to September 29 (on performance days only), the round trip costs only $20.

Support for Stratford Direct is generously provided by The Peter Cundhill Foundation.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof; The Three Musketeers, The Merchant of Venice, Tommy, Blithe Spirit, Othello, Measure for Measure, Mary Stuart, Waiting for Godot, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill, along with more than 150 events at The Forum.

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VIDEO:
Welcome to Pinballapalooza - http://bit.ly/104rSAN 
What’s your pinball name? - http://bit.ly/12En2MA
Guinness World Record attempt - http://bit.ly/12EN7Lt
Game over? - http://bit.ly/1054eUP

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