Arts Beat: Happy Birthday: Keith Moon completes The Who lineup 45 years ago

April 28, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

It was 45 years ago this month that a young Keith Moon first sat behind the drum kit for a band called The High Numbers. By November 1964, the band had changed its name (back) to The Who, and it was Moon who provided the frenetic backbeat for iconic numbers from ‘My Generation’ (1965)? to ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ (1971).

In between, The Who took the bronze medal in the pantheon of great British rock groups – behind The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Alongside singer Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and lead guitarist/songwriter Pete Townsend, Moon broke plenty of barriers (and equipment) along the way.

Moon was the first drummer that people actually watched, as opposed to many of his predecessors who kept a simple and refined backbeat. Keith Moon, or course, was neither simple nor refined; he was wild, out of control and undoubtedly one-of-a-kind. It wasn’t so much that he was a technically good drummer, rather that Moon combined an unprecedented combination of speed, spontaneity and spot-on accuracy to give The Who their own unique blend on British rock.

With The Rolling Stones, The Who moved into the 70s as headliners in stadiums and concert venues across the United States, the second home of both bands. Moon battled alcoholism and various esteem issues until his untimely death from an overdose of pills in September 1978. The previous month, the band had released its last album featuring Moon on drums, and the song title itself serves as a fitting tribute to the many personalities present in Keith Moon: ‘Who Are You.’

Posted by Nate Regan

Dallas Theater Center Uses SMU Talent

November 11, 2008 by · Comments Off 

By Kamille Carlisle

The Dallas Theater Center features productions of a wide spectrum, from classic theater to modern plays and musicals. This year marks the organization’s 50th anniversary and the arrival of their new artistic director, Kevin Moriarty.

His first task of the season was to direct “The Who’s Tommy,” a rock opera composed of The Who’s music from their 1969 album “Tommy,” about a troubled young boy. The musical ran from Aug. 27 to Sept. 28.

“One third of the cast for that musical were SMU students,” Jacob Cigainero, DTC spokesman, said. “The theater students are definitely an important part of our productions.”

According to Emily Habeck, a sophomore theater major, representatives from DTC came to SMU to hold auditions for all theater students. As a newcomer to the program, 19-year-old Habeck said she was excited when she was chosen for what would be her first professional production.

“It was very different from anything I’ve ever done and interesting to see how much people put into it because it their job and not just a hobby,” Habeck said.

She added: “Rehearsals were longer and professional but also a lot of fun.”

Out of more than 100 theater majors, Habeck was one of the four undergrads selected for the musical. She played the role of Sally Simpson, who was a big fan of Tommy.

Experienced actors flew in from Los Angeles and New York to be part of the production, and Habeck said they gave her practical advice about the business.

“I have so much more to learn,” she said. “Growth as a performer is a lifetime thing.”

The young actress said she hopes to live and work in New York one day.

“If I can make a living solely on acting, I will consider myself a success,” Habeck said.

Chad Daniel, a second-year theater graduate student, has been making a living acting professionally in New York, Los Angeles, and Austin for the past ten years. However, he decided to go back to school for his master’s degree, so he can eventually teach.

“I had heard incredible things about SMU’s graduate program and couldn’t pass up the opportunity once I was offered the scholarship,” Daniel said.

In “The Who’s Tommy,” Daniel played Tommy’s evil cousin, Kevin, a role in which he was required to sing a solo in addition to his work with the ensemble.

“It was nice having a professional theater company around again,” Daniel said of the DTC. “I really enjoyed working with Kevin Moriarty. He was very open to new ideas and artistic input on stage.”

While the DTC currently uses professional actors from major cities like New York and L.A., it is working on a new acting company composed entirely of Dallas actors.

On stage now, the DTC is featuring “The Good Negro,” a play about the civil rights movement in 1960s Alabama. It runs through Nov. 9.