The success of Buddy, the musical stage show, has way outlived the actual career of its subject.
Buddy Holly had just hit the big-time, with a string of number ones to his name, when he was killed in a plane crash along with the Big Bopper and Richie Valens.
But his life story, probably the very first of the jukebox musicals, has now notched up 25 years entertaining audiences the length and breadth of the country.
To mark its silver anniversary it’s on the road again, playing at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre this week.
It’s a tremendous show and much loved by the fans.
The rock ‘n’ roll playlist features Holly’s greatest hits and it’s amazing just how many he squeezed into his short life.
During the tour the lead is shared between Glen Joseph and Roger Rowley and it was the latter on stage last night at The Waterside.
He’s tall, athletic and charismatic. Rowley possesses boundless energy, leaping about the stage for a number of set pieces with his band members, The Crickets.
Rowley perfectly captures Holly’s Texan innocence and the teen’s naive arrogance.
The show follows the singer’s meteoric rise to fame and ends with his final concert with Valens and Big Bopper before the trio boarded an ill-fated flight.
Raised on country and western music Holly fought hard against radio stations and record producers to create the sort of music young people wanted to listen to.
There’s all too brief a cameo appearance by Jason Blackwater as the larger-than-life Big Bopper and Will Pearce as the snake-hipped La Bamba star Valens.
This is a high energy and polished production that has delighted thousands of theatre-goers for a quarter of a century and long may it do so.
The musical is on the road until August playing dates in Plymouth, Wolverhampton, Richmond, Bristol, Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bradford and Woking.
Check out the show’s website www.buddythemusical.com for dates and further venues.