note: entire contents copyright 2016 by Richard Pacheco
“The Buddy Holly Story” currently at the Theatre by the Sea is a rip roaring good time with a vibrant cast full of energy and musical talent, playing their own instruments with skill and style. It is sheer fun.
The story is a well known one for anyone who ever loved rock and roll, the rise to prominence of Buddy Holly from unknown to rock legend in a short space of time during the early golden days of rock and roll. It is packed with his songs and captures the exuberance and passion of his music. It follows his very brief career from a teenager from Lubbock Texas who abandons his country roots to become a full fledged rock and roller only to die tragically in a plane crash several years later.
Michael Siktberg is excellent as Buddy Holly. He is poised, vibrant and talented. He has a strong voice and just the right finesse to deliver the Holly songs. He palys his guitar really well also.
The rest of the cast is likewise exceptional.
Jean-Pierre Ferragamo as The Big Bopper is riveting with his stage presence and singing sass. It is an impressive energetic performance. “Chantilly Lace” and “Shut” are sizzling hot and stuning.
Albert Jennings as Richie Valens is powerhouse of raw sexual energy, full of flair and feisty. He shines when he sings “La Bamba” with relentless energy and vocal power.
Cody Nable and Greg London as as the radio host who helps propel Buddy to ths top, Highpockets Duncan are energetic and convincing.
Beatriz Naranjo as Buddy’s wife Maria Elena is poised, sweet and sincere.
The songs here are rollicking and fun from the first. In fact the second half of the show is pretty much the last concert hat Buddy did before he died in the plane crash. There are songs galore to enjoy, classic Holly hits like “Peggy Sue”, “Oh Boy”, “Maybe Baby” and tons more.
The entire cast is a delight, a real pleasure to enjoy.
Director Richard Salbellico keeps things moving swiftly along with and underlying raw power that is exciting and entrancing. It has a rock concert feel that is enthralling and undeniable.
Musical director Michael Crotier coaxes the best out of his talent both in terms of singing and virtuoso musicianship; it is winning.
Kyle Dixon’s scenic design works well, vividly creating the right mod and atmosphere for each scene.