Three seriously rocking weekends at Plaza Theatre helped bring respite from the pandemic in early 2022. Productions of the show are always special in Buddy's home state, and this fabulous production connected big-time with audiences in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“We had a great time with Buddy. Our audiences loved it and out of our 147 productions we have done in the past 15 years this one rated one of the best. Also, this is the best January Box-Office receipts we have had in our 15 years. Even with last minute COVID cancellations we still held just over 95% this week which is great but in January is outstanding. I am sure that we will do this show again”
— G. Aaron Siler, Director of Operations, Plaza Theatre, Cleburne, Texas

Photos courtesy of Plaza Theatre Company


Rockin' Buddy Holly; Plaza Theatre Co.'s production showcases '50s rock 'n' roll tunes (abridged)

“Have you heard the news? The '50s are back and sweet, sweet soul and rock 'n' roll raised the roof Thursday at Plaza Theatre Co…

“…Deliverance comes in the form of producer Norman Petty (JaceSon Barrus, also co-directing) and sessions in Clovis, New Mexico, resulting in several of Holly's early huge hits. One scene, the genesis of the great ‘Everyday’ plays out pure magic recalling as it does Paul McCartney's creation of ‘Get Back’ out of thin air in the recent Beatles Disney documentary.

“Musically, all the Holly hits are here in addition to several lesser known, though equally wondrous numbers such as ‘Raining In My Heart’. Aaron Brooks looks suitably Hollyesque, plays a mean guitar and captures Holly's upbeat and bittersweet soulful twang hiccuping vocal style. “I grew up with my parents listening to Buddy and the Beatles and all that music before my time so I knew of him,” Brooks said after the show. “But once I got this role I really dug in and did the research on him.”

“Indeed he did. Brooks shines in his Plaza debut. I'm inclined to praise (Chris) Utton's dynamic drumming and will. But feel also moved to exclaim that everyone involved here, whether instrumentally or vocally, delivers most thrilling positively up, up and away joyfully effulgent performances.

“Pile accolades, too, on the female songbirds backing several of the Holly, and other performer's numbers with dreamy, at times ethereal and always spot on contributions.

“As to Tyrone Jones (Brandon Carlton) and Marlena Madison's (Takara Bailey) show stopping run through ‘Shout’ at the Apollo Theatre ... words fail to convey the awesome. All the while not for a second forgetting Shane Brooks' over-the-top, audience involvement blast through the Big Bopper's ‘Chantilly Lace’ or Mike Bush's equally passionate, hyper driven delivery of Ritchie Valens' ‘La Bamba’.

“The Apollo Theatre scenes — Holly and the Crickets were the first white act to play there — dispatch the play's funniest moments while Holly's first meeting with his wife-to-be Maria Elena (Lydia Galvan) telegraph its sweetest.

“The abrupt lights out halt slam of Holly's final number in Clear Lake, Iowa, dramatically illustrates the tragedy to follow while raising the could've, should've, would've questions of what Holly might have gone on to accomplish but for that fateful flight.

“But in the end it's the joy both of the music and the genius of arguably Texas' greatest ever musician that drives the show and to those ends The Buddy Holly Story overflows with bumper crops of both.

“Given Plaza's abundance of quality productions through the past 15 seasons one hesitates to bandy terms such as best or greatest about but rest assured, their production of Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story is way, way up there and then some. So grab a ticket while they're still around, head to Plaza and rave on!
— Matt Smith, Cleburne Times-Review

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