Celebrating a Texas Life & Legacy: “The Buddy Holly Story”

by N.L.Thi-Hamrick on January 31, 2019 in Entertainment, Theatre,
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“The Buddy Holly Story” is a must-see!

Nimble fingers with a lanky frame, power chords on a legendary Fender Strat, and iconic horned-rimmed spectacles: witness the timeless Lubbock-born man behind the music in the award-winning musical “Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story” by Alan Janes, now presented by the Garland Civic Theater.

Akin to stumbling upon a time capsule of an age past, audiences at the current Granville Arts Center production are spirited away to the recording studio and famous concerts, granting them the opportunity to sing with the renowned stars. As the 60th anniversary of Holly’s untimely death approaches, performers engage the audience in an intimate and interactive experience that will bring people to their feet to stamp, dance, clap and sing along!

Ian Mead Moore as Buddy Holly. Photo Aaron Goughan

“The cast was superb and Buddy did a fantastic job,” one of the audience declared, effusing she has “…had season tickets for the past 18 years and this was by far one of the best.”

The entire ensemble does the story justice while paying homage to Holly’s memory. Many share a robust respect for the music or grew up listening to it, but also share a camaraderie and love for each other that’s translated into the joy and authenticity emanated on stage. Indeed, before entering the auditorium Friday night (January 26th) patrons were met with a blast from the past: adjacent to the theatre doors sat a table furnished with memorabilia, newspaper clippings and a scrap book made by producer, Cheryl Pellet. Many of the materials were from her father, an avid Holly fan.

With February 3rd marking the 60th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death, don’t miss Garland Civic Theatre’s presentation of “The Buddy Holly Story” at Granville Arts Center through February 10. Photo Chert Pellet

“I grew up with Buddy Holly,” Pellet shared with the audience. “Dad,” she continued, “this show is for you.” In the fashion of a true family affair, Pellet’s daughter serves as spotlight operator. The personal ties don’t stop there. Ian Mead Moore, lead actor playing Buddy Holly, sings alongside his best friend, actor Jonathan Garcia, playing Ritchie Valens, who is also the off-stage husband of Sarah Garcia, the actress playing Holly’s on-stage wife. Additionally, Colin Philips, playing Big Bopper, is the bassist in Moore’s band, “Sailing Neptune.”

While Moore had entered the production as solely the assistant musical director to Scott A. Eckert, he was unanimously asked to play the lead role, and the production is all the better for it.

“I had a gut feeling he was the one for the role,” director Dennis Canright admits. Additionally, producers Pellet and David Tinney have called the entire cast “outstanding” and “phenomenal”, something that audiences can attest to, as well.

Along with over 20 Holly hits including “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Oh Boy” and “Rave On,” audiences will be delighted with other classics like “Shout,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “La Bamba.” A particularly poignant performance includes an acoustic rendition of “True Love Ways” that Moore sings to his on-stage wife.

Buddy Holly’s story will not fade away; and his music reverberates through the auditorium walls of Granville Arts Center. Photo Chert Pellet

Holly created 10 albums in less than 18 months, embracing a career that transcended demographics and broke musical ground “…with lyrics, instrumentation, and recoding techniques…which laid the foundation for today’s music,” Canright notes. Musicians including Bob Dylan, Elton John, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles have acknowledged the influence he’s had on their careers. More of Holly’s history and his resounding mark on it can be found on the original musical’s official website.

Producer Tinney encourages everyone to see the production, with hopes that all who attend have “a great time and get the feel they were really there.” So far they have, Tinney admits, also noting a former member of “The Crickets” attended opening night “and loved it.”

“This is a story for everyone,” Canright says, “…it’s the story of a man with a dream who knew what and how he wanted his life and music to be.”

While February 3rd will mark the 60th anniversary of his passing —a time Don McLean called “The Day the Music Died”—Holly’s story will not fade away; his music resonates in history, hearts worldwide, and will reverberate through the auditorium walls of this north Texas theater.

Garland Civic Theatre presents “The Buddy Holly Story” at Granville Arts Center (300 North 5th St, Garland) January 25 – February 10, 2019. Tickets cost $18 and can be purchased at the Box Office (972-205-2790) or online.

Patrons can also enter a raffle to win 1 of 2 replicas of Holly’s iconic Fender Statocaster after the show!

Cover photo Chert Pellet

N.L.Thi-Hamrick, devoted to all things that bring joy: good food, writing freely, lots of smiles, and pursuing things that make you feel worthwhile.