The Buddy Holly Story – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

In 1971, Don McLean wrote a song that captured the meteoric comet of rock and roll that was Buddy Holly:“The Day the Music Died.” His star shone brightly until it burned out way too soon. Born in Lubbock, Texas in 1936, he was a rock and roll legend who influenced the direction the music world took and even though he has been gone from the galaxy for decades his stirring tunes live on. His death at only twenty-two was a tragedy but his eighteen months of fame are still felt today. Everyone from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen credit Buddy Holly for being a jukebox wonder.

Music theater of Connecticut in Norwalk will welcome this songwriting sensation until Sunday, April 10 in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” Spiff Wiegand will rock around your clock as the energetic performer who believes in himself and in his music and lets the world hear his greatness. This hometown country boy rejected his country western roots to adopt the newfangled, untamed tail of a comet called rock and roll. He hung on tightly, from his first successful stirrings on the radio, then at Harlem’s Apollo Theater (Michael Ray Fisher and Jannie Jones) to his final show in February 1959 at Clear Lake. Iowa when he joined forces with the Big Bopper (Jimmy Lewis) and Ritchie Valens, (Gian Raffaele Dicostanzo) for what was to be his last hurrah.

Alan Janes has penned this enthusiastic tribute to a legend and crammed it with Holly’s most popular hits, “Maybe, Baby,” “Oh, Boy,” “Rave On,” “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue.” It doesn’t get much better than this! To date, more than 22 million music fans from all over the world have been shaken from their toes on up by this sensational show.

With his band the Crickets (Matt Ruff, Ken Sandberg and Jeff Gurner), Holly took the professional advice from DJs like Highpockets Duncan (Adam Von Almen) and managers like Norman Petty (Robert Mobley) and Norm’s wife (Blair Alexis Brown). Along the way, he met and quickly married Maria Elena (Elena Ramos Pascullo) who had dreams that a tragedy was close by on his last tour.

For tickets ($40 to 65), call Music Theater of CT, 509 Westport Avenue, Norwalk at 203-454-3883 or online at Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Come witness the birth of rock and roll with the daddy who gets the credit for its contemporary conception, the one and only, Buddy Holly. He will “not fade away” even though the music died when his plane crashed in a blizzard more than six decades ago.