LIHSA’s Production of Tommy May 2024

On May 21st and 22nd, over 600 families and friends were treated to LIHSA’s first full-length musical production.  The Who’s Tommy wowed audiences and the Nassau BOCES community with this outstanding two-night performance.  

Avery LaFemina, in 11th grade from Harborfields, played 2nd Barrister and Ensemble in the performance and described the rehearsal process as being a positive and unique experience.  “I was surrounded by people who wanted to see me grow.  I felt supported.”  LaFemina described the rehearsal process as long but it allowed her to really “dive in” to the show and characters.  “I felt more confident!”  

In rehearsals, students worked with Kim Larkin (Musical Director) and Francis Lees (Music Supervisor) on challenging rock music and how to tell the story through song.  The students interviewed described the process as being beneficial because it was a musical they didn’t have lots of previous knowledge about.  

“I feel like I grew a lot,” LaFemina shared while reflecting on her first year at LIHSA.  Samantha Fiore, also a first-year LIHSA student from Cold Spring Harbor, thought that Tommy was “a really great experience. I liked how it was professional and different from other shows I’ve worked on because it’s a lot of counting musically and using the different instruments for cues.”  

Frank Randazzo played the titular role of Tommy in the AM student production and the junior from Harborfields spoke about having worked on the show since October. “Everyone came into the process not knowing one another and left as a family.”  Although Randazzo is sad that the show is over, he says that the payoff was “very rewarding.”  

The character Mrs. Walker from the PM student production was played by Ashlee Fucarino of Wantagh.  She also appreciated the rehearsal process and getting to reflect on the characters and their choices. “I better learned what motivates my character and why they do what they do. I learned how to put myself into the character.  The performances were authentic.”  

During the rehearsal process, Huck Milner from Half Hollow Hills, didn’t feel like he was in high school. He played the character of Lover and said, “Mr. Brick made it feel like you weren’t in high school. From signing contracts and learning about character analysis, it made me to be more like my character.” 

“We were treated like professionals,” Lorenzo Hilliard from Wantagh shared.  While playing Uncle Ernie, he was made to feel comfortable playing a character with such specificity.  He’s thankful to Brick, Larkin, and Lees for the choices they gave to their students while blocking and developing the characters. “It was blocked for the actor and we were able to talk about it and make choices for ourselves. We had creative freedom and all things were considered.” 

“We all worked so hard on that part of the show.” Fucarino echoed her castmates.  Her favorite part was the Believe My Own Eyes sequence, “and I think that I fostered a connection as a family in the show. The character’s reunion was a special moment and the energy was there.  It was really special.”  

For photos from both the AM and PM student productions of The Who’s Tommy, see below.  

Special thanks to the creative staff and LIHSA faculty for making this production such an incredible event.  

Scenic Design: Erik Chocianowski 

Lighting Design: Christopher Wong 

Sound Design: Doug Rowand 

Costume Design: Chris Brick  

Music Direction: Kimberly Larkin  

Music Supervisions: Francis Lees 

Executive Producers: Lindsay Rogan & Laura Vega 

Casting: Chris Brick & Kimberly Larkin 

Directed & Choreography by: Chris Brick  

Keep scrolling for photos