Los Angeles, CA / New York, NY

A veteran actor/singer/musician, Luke has performed in about a dozen productions of Buddy around the U.S. as Joe B. Mauldin, 4th Cricket and Norman Petty… and still loves every note.

He has also been a Hayrider (mandolin, guitar) and understudied the role of Buddy several times. Top-selling productions include the award-winning San Francisco run (SF Critics Circle - Best Ensemble, Best Musical), Arvada Center (Arvada, CO) Ogunquit Playhouse (Maine), Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) and Maine State Music Theatre (Brunswick, ME). Luke has also performed the roles of Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash in the Las Vegas production of Million Dollar Quartet.

Luke Darnell (R) at the Arvada Center with John Rochette and Bennett Dunn

A fourth generation performer, Luke has shared the stage or screen with his mother, father, brother, stepfather and two aunts. His family legacy dates back to his great-grandfather’s minstrel band, his grandparents' vaudeville tours, and his parents Broadway/tour/regional work.

Luke (centre) with Andy Christopher as Buddy (Fulton Theatre/Maine State Music Theatre co-production, 2014)


“Luke Darnell and David Schulz are terrific as the Crickets”
- San Francisco Chronicle

“In a coup of casting Luke Darnell and David Schulz are completely believable as actors as well as musicians”
- Marin Independent Journal

“With relaxed rock cool, Luke Darnell takes impressive steps in the spotlight while anchoring the band. He legitimately rocks the Bill Haley tune 'Shake, Rattle and Roll' and as Ray Davies rips the punkish Kinks tune, 'You Really Got Me'. He also manages to hit on every one of the classic stand-up bass tricks.”
- Monterey County Weekly

“The Crickets were terrific musicians, singers and supporting actors.”
- San Diego Theatre Scene

“Sharing the credit for the show's success are his onstage bandmates… Darnell's a handsome and agile bassist, climbing up, under, around and on top of the instrument while never missing a note.”
- North County Times (San Diego)

“…Bennett Dunn performed with his rip-roaring Crickets (I swear, Luke Darnell, as Joe B. Maudlin, turns the stand-up bass into his personal sit 'n' spin).”
- Denver Post

“But Buddy is much more than a one-man show. Dunn and his Crickets are a trio I'd happily stand in line at Bender's to see play.”
- Denver Post

“Crickets Luke Darnell and David Schulz do some brilliant work”
- SF Bay Times

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Darnell (L) "climbing up, under, around and on top of the instrument while never missing a note"

Luke with Tommy Allsup (2013)