BUDDY: The Buddy Holly Story Quick Review

BUDDY: The Buddy Holly Story presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through Feb. 16. I attended the opening night performance. 


The Cast. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

“Your father would have loved this show.”


Andy Christopher as Buddy Holly. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

This was one of the first things my Mom said to me following the opening night performance. My parents were slightly younger contemporaries of the bespectacled rock and roller. And I totally blame my father (or more specifically his singles record collection that I played through dozens of time as a child) and the family-watched TV show Sha Na Na (love you Pamela Myers) for my appreciation of ’50s and ’60s music.


Ryan Jagru as Ritchie Valens.

Buddy Holly is “considered one of the most influential creative forces in early rock and roll.” Playhouse’s program features quotes from rock legends Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen to name a few, about his impact on their music.

With its thin book, BUDDY is more tribute show than traditional jukebox musical. The story follows Holly’s struggle to have his music studio-recorded his way, to his groundbreaking performance at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater, to his final Winter Dance Party Tour show in Clear Lake, Iowa before his tragic death at 22.


Spiff Wiegand as Joe B. Mauldin & Andy Christopher as Buddy Holly. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The cast consists of seven talented musicians and vocalists. Led by Andy Christopher in the title role (and serving as Music Director for the production) they rock the Marx Theatre, expertly performing more than 20 of Holly’s hits with great energy and showmanship that had the audience bobbing in their seats and clapping along.

A highly entertaining production for any Buddy Holly fan. Mom was right, Dad would have loved it.

There is a half-price special available for Tue-Fri and Sunday evening performances. Use promo code 2020fam at checkout, www.cincyplay.com/productions/buddy-the-buddy-holly-story.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.

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