The Who's Roger Daltrey isn't a humbug about the competing Keith Moon biopic
Roger Daltrey

Every Christmas, The Who’s microphone-swinging frontman, Roger Daltrey, would tell his children he was the president of the Scrooge fan club. Well, this year Daltrey will play his Dickensian idol in the fifth annual production of “A Christmas Carol” at Madison Square Garden (opens Nov. 27). No stranger to musicals (he originated the title role in “Tommy” and played the Tin Man in a 1995 benefit performance of “The Wizard of Oz”), Daltrey says deciding to star as the old miser was easy. “I want to give kids a wonderful show, because I can still remember everything about the first time I went to the theater,” Daltrey, a 53-year-old grandfather, tells EW Online. “It’s difficult to give kids a sense of wonder, and that’s what this show does.”

But don’t expect to see Daltrey’s name on the marquee of future theatrical extravaganzas. “I like character-driven songs, and most musicals don’t offer that,” he says. “Music should be used to express character — I don’t know why people are all so bloody lazy in musicals that they can’t manage that.” Besides, Daltrey has his hands full developing his hush-hush biopic of fellow Who bandmate Keith Moon. As for his refusal to cooperate on Robert DeNiro’s competing Keith Moon film (based on ex-chauffeur Dougal Butler’s biography “Full Moon”), Daltrey insists he’s not being a humbug: “I wish them all the best. But I’m not going to be involved in their film, nor is The Who’s music. I’ve worked eight years on my movie, and I’m determined to honor Keith with a film he deserves.”