BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY

CORONATION HALL, MOSGIEL, 2009

Buddy Holly still raving on:

"Enthusiastically adopted by teenagers worldwide, rock and roll ignited the prosperous late 1950s, and Buddy Holly was one of its most famous performers.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story follows Holly's last two years, from a promising but unsuccessful start with Decca Records to brief stardom and the ill-fated aeroplane journey that ended his life.

But really, the story needs to be little more than the thread that holds the songs together, and with songs as good as Holly's you can hardly go wrong. All the favourites were there: That'll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Not Fade Away, Well Alright, Maybe Baby, the wonderfully raucous Rave On, and many more. 

Douglas Kamo's direction and choreography and Bridget Telfer's musical direction ensure high standards throughout the Taieri Musical Society's well-polished production. 

James Higgs' hair is just a little bit too long but otherwise, with brimming confidence, athletic musicality and black-framed glasses, he's the ideal Buddy. John Sear brings extensive musical and stage experience to the role of J.P. ("Big Bopper") Richardson and Blair Hughson shows us another side of rock and roll, playing Ritchie Valens as a talented but precocious twerp. Michael Grant and Scott Colvin are clever and funny as the Crickets,from whom Holly eventually split, and another 20 or so people take on a long list of supporting roles. Wardrobe manager Jill Read has captured the styles of the late '50s; the full skirts, the narrow ties, the Bopper's leopard-skin jacket. 

The foot-stamping, hand-clapping, delighted audience came in all ages, from people old enough to remember the tragic day in 1959when the music died to younger generations just discovering Buddy Holly and the vitality and effrontery of rock and roll."

 

- Barbara Frame, ODT