“A small-town Texas boy who came of age in the 1950s, Holly rejected country music in favor of rock ’n’ roll. After overcoming the stifling conformity of that white-bread era, myopic record company executives, a domineering mother, and racism — his wife was from a Puerto Rican family — he became a star, seemingly overnight.
“After scoring at least 10 hit singles between 1957 and 1959, Holly died in an Iowa plane crash at the age of 22. The crash also claimed the lives of fellow rock stars Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. They are energetically portrayed in Buddy
by, respectively, Shaun Tuazon and Manny Fernandez.
“Even better is Eboni Muse, who all but steals the first act with her electrifying performance… Benjamin Roy soars singing “Shout” by the Isley Brothers and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (whose own triumph-to-tragedy story deserves its own jukebox musical).
“Director Christy Yael-Cox generally keeps Buddy
moving at a snappy pace… while Christopher Scott Murillo’s set designs are simple but effective. Nadia Guevara’s choreography shines brightest with the big production numbers — featuring the entire, 15-strong cast — that bring Buddy
to a rousing close.
is jam-packed with musical treats that transcend mere nostalgia. With songs this good, the best response comes in the title of the show’s ebullient final number: “Oh, Boy!”
- George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Cast and crew of the Intrepid Theatre/New Village Arts production of Buddy (summer, 2017)
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