Texas audiences took Buddy to their hearts in this production at Casa Mañana in June 2015!

“Forget about the day the music died. This show celebrates when Buddy Holly made rock ’n’ roll live. Buddy… is a jukin’ and jivin’ romp in the white-hot glow of the astonishing, three-year recording career of Lubbock’s most famous ambassador of America’s greatest musical form.

“The horn-rimmed glasses in this production are worn by native Texan Andy Christopher... While not an exact copy, he certainly captures the essence of Holly’s distinctive sound... few hits are left unturned in the show’s nicely rendered set list...

“There are two moments in particular that stand out: the birth of the song ‘Peggy Sue’ and, of course, Holly’s final performance in Clear Lake, Iowa. The former, a scene featuring Holly butting heads with producer Norman Petty (Paul T. Taylor), serves as a showcase for what Holly was all about as an artist — talented, confident and unyielding. The latter is a raucous re-creation of highlights of his final show, before the 22-year-old Holly boarded that fateful flight. It is so full of energy and joy that it keeps your mind away from what awaits.

“Both scenes reflect the best aspects of Casey Hushion’s direction and the high-quality musicianship of the performers.”

- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Lubbock native Andy Christopher as Buddy Holly at Casa Mañana (2015) 

“…the production currently performing at Casa Mañana in Fort Worth is well worth the long trek from Dallas. Full of Broadway stars and local triple threats, the cast of Buddy impresses, and not only portrays the legends of the 1950s in voice, but serves as the show’s live musicians - without missing a single beat.

“As the musical of a mostly-true story, it’s important that the actor in the title role manages to look, act, and sound like Buddy, not to mention have the guitar skills necessary to front the band. Andy Christopher does all of that and more. From the moment he opened his mouth to sing, Mr. Christopher has the audience cheering, swaying, and occasionally singing and dancing along. The same can be said for The Crickets, Buddy's backup band, who hold their own against the star of the show. Although, I have to say that this production is all about the bassist, Joe B. Mauldin (Sam Webber), who’s stunts and skills are worth the price of admission alone.

“The remainder of the cast each deserve individual praise for their numerous cameos and solos, especially: Adrianna Hicks, who raises the roof with an exciting edition of ‘Shout’; Steve Gagliastro, as his various over-the-top characters who chew and spit out the scenery; Cheryl Allison, who performed in the original Broadway national tour of Buddy and who draws your eye with her brilliant, and often hilarious facial expressions; and Addie Morales, who provides lots of heart to the soulful show.

“Though the show has a well-known tragic end (not unlike Titanic, where you expect the ship to sink), the show’s writers don’t let you dwell on the sadness long before the finale brings the entire audience to their feet, singing and dancing in the aisles, and clapping along to the beat, reminding us that Buddy lived every moment to the fullest and wouldn't have regretted a thing.”

- Kyle West,

“Director Casey Hushion brought together a highly-skilled ensemble... Each actor portrayed their role with sincerity and care. There was never a moment when I thought I was watching actors playing a role. I was drawn into their world and given the chance to see and experience what it would have been like to see these legends in person. What a privilege!

“The rock songs sounded very raw, and really gave the audience an electrifying shot of energy. Each song brought the house to singing, clapping, and pure excitement... Andy Christopher really brought down the house as Buddy Holly. Through facial expression, intonation and body language, Christopher convincingly portrayed the young Holly, on his rise from small town Texas musician to the pinnacle moment in his career – The Winter Dance Party. Nikko Kimzin’s brief appearance in the role Ritchie Valens, forerunner of the Chicano Rock Movement was another standout. With his rendition of ‘La Bamba’, he really intensified the mood on stage, and was very believable as the young Valens...

“If you never had the opportunity to see Buddy Holly perform live, I highly recommend you take this chance – it will be as close as you will ever get to experiencing a live performance of Mr. Holly and his contemporaries... “It’s so easy to fall in love” with this production.”

- Genevieve Croft, Associate Critic for John Garcia's The Column

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