Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Buddy Holly Story

We got comps to see The Buddy Holly Story at the 5th Ave. Theatre on Tuesday night. I've long been a fan of Holly so it was a no-brainer that we go. My reaction to the show is mixed.
The music was good. They hired top-notch musicians to pull off the show. The fellow playing Buddy was very good as well, but he was better musically than he was as an actor. The first 30 minutes of the show dragged. The only high points during that time was the music. When it was only acting or multimedia, it was painfully slow. The energy picked up tremendously when the Apollo Theater scene took place. The singers, Little Diva and the Testosterones, were outstanding. It's unfortunate that one of the greatest moments in the show doesn't belong to Buddy Holly. It is, after all, the Buddy Holly Story.
As the show progessed, the music continued to be good but the acting and dialogue were not. The script was very weak. The end of the show picked up the energy again. There is a great moment with the character of Richie Valens. The actor playing him did an excellent job. I can't say the same for the actor portraying Big Bopper. He was just wrong for the part...physically, vocally, everything.
The show ended with an abrupt/clumsy shift to a multimedia presentation of the plane crash. After that, the curtain call was performed during a rousing version of...Johnny B. Goode? Isn't this the Buddy Holly Story? That was an odd choice. They finally finished it off with Oh Boy but I couldn't help thinking that a show about Buddy Holly should end with Not Fade Away because his music is still as vibrant and important as it ever was.
Overall, it was a pretty good show musically. Too bad they had to ruin it with their acting.

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