Newest Review: ... It's not used to tell it. Firstly, who do you get to play Buddy? He had such a distinctive sound, the actor has to be able to do tha... more
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Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story
Member Name: DancingCopper
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story
Advantages: Toe-tappingly, belly-laughingly fabulous!
Disadvantages: By provoke uncontrollable desire to dance in the aisle
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story is a musical about the life of the pop musician, Buddy Holly. The biographical detail is fairly minimal, being instead a showcase of Holly's music.
In a nutshell, the story begins in 1955 with a 19 year old Buddy starting out on a successful career as a Country and Western musician. He has his own ideas about the path his career should take, favouring the racier Rock and Roll that is beginning to emerge.
Feeling unsupported by his record label, Holly signs a contract with another. From this point, exciting and original hits like 'Peggy Sue' are written and recorded. Buddy Holly and the Crickets become a phenomenon with a unique and appealing sound. This leads to an interesting scene at the Apollo Theatre in Halem, which is both funny and heart-warming.
It is this humour and warmth that set Buddy apart from shows such as Fame. Yes, the music, mostly but not entirely from Buddy Holly, is the driving force of the show, but there is an underlying wit and intelligence.
The second act sees success bring problems for Buddy and the Crickets. The likeable and driven musician appears increasingly frustrated, making bizarre decisions, although the hits keep coming. The ending is as predictable as Titanic but, having had two hours of wonderful music, humour and energy the abrupt and tragic end to Buddy's life leaves a lasting impression.
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story debuted in the West End in 1989 and ran for 12 years. Following an absence, it returned in 2007 to the Duchess Theatre. It is one of the best family shows, appealing to the X Factor generation and those who love energetic musicals like Dirty Dancing. It has a wider appeal than some shows given the nostalgia element, and the way it is handled with affection but without undue sentimentality.
I saw this show at the peak of teenage cynicism, and was unfamiliar with Buddy Holly's music, at least by name. I loved it, carried along by the timeless vibrancy of his music. If you're a fan of Holly's music, you'll love its replication; if you're not a fan, you will be by the end.
There are simple but powerful messages contained in the plot: hard work really does pay off, and music is a great medium to bring cultures and social groups together. These themes are not laboured, they just exist in the background of the narrative, further adding to the feel-good effect of the show.
This is definitely a family show, in the same category as Hairspray. Like Jersey Boys, the musical is based on real events with virtually all the music being that of the central characters - in fact it was Buddy that spawned this form of musical theatre. There is also the additional poignancy of its portrayal Buddy and his band, their aspirations, successes and ultimately, their tragedy. I recommend it to you!
---------- Information ----------
(taken from the official website)
THE SHOW IS SCHEDULED TO CLOSE ON 7th FEBRUARY 2009
Full ticket prices: £60, £45, £40, £25
SPECIAL OFFER from 3rd November to 23rd December
Buddy tickets reduced from £60.00 to £33.50
Offer valid Mon-Fri
Buddy tickets reduced from £65.00 to £22.50
Offer valid Thu Matinee
Buddy tickets reduced from £65.00 to £40.00
Offer valid Sat Matinee
OFFER STRICTLY SUBJECT TO AVAILABILTY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!
The 9000th Performance of Buddy will take place on the 2nd December. Book now!
Running time: 2h30mins
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Garden
Summary: The story of how Buddy Holly conquered Rock and Roll.
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