Globe Theatre Presents Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story
It’s a story of success, setbacks, love and music — lots of music! It’s the story of a young, talented man from Lubbock, Texas who refused to give up on his dream. And it’s the story of a music legend who left us far too soon in a tragic plane crash in 1959 at the age of 22. Legendary American singer/songwriter, Buddy Holly, left an indelible imprint on the music world.
Conveying the story of Buddy Holly is no small task, but Regina’s Globe Theatre pulled it off with class in a hugely successful run at Casino Regina this past winter. Holly’s lively and timeless music dominated the show, much to the appreciation of adoring crowds who happily sang along to the likes of Peggy Sue and That’ll Be the Day. The beauty of live theatre is the ability of multi-talented performers to convey a story in a fast-paced environment with wisely crafted set changes. Once again, Globe Theatre hit the mark. The acting, singing and music was superb, lively and larger than life — truly paying honour to the life and timeless music of Buddy Holly.
Buddy Holly took to music at a young age with the support of his parents, and his rebellious nature undoubtedly played a role in his ground-breaking success. This aspect of his personality was well portrayed throughout the production, giving us a glimpse of how Holly “stuck to his guns” on the music he wanted to play during an era when rock and roll was highly controversial.
Holly’s career was meteoric, to say the least. After high school, he formed a band that played country and western songs. A frequent opener for acts touring locally, he even got that chance with Elvis Presley in 1955. A recording contract soon followed for Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes (later changed to The Crickets). From August 1957 to August 1958, Holly and the Crickets hit the charts with seven different Top 40 singles — an amazing feat. By late 1958, Holly split from The Crickets. The next year, while touring with fellow performers Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper in The Winter Dance Party, all three were killed when their private chartered plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Clear Lake, Iowa.
Globe’s portrayal of Holly’s last moments on the phone with his wife is both poignant and foreboding, evoking a deep sense sadness for a life and career that could have been. The portrayal of the news of these untimely deaths was also impeccably delivered as the band transitioned from an alive and vibrant performance mode to suddenly frozen in time with darkened lighting.
Don McLean’s iconic song American Pie memorializes this tragedy as “the day the music died.” But it surely hasn’t. Although the Globe production wanted the audience us to feel and honour this great loss — and we did — the show didn’t linger there long. The evening ended on a high note with the cast giving their all in song and celebration of one of the greatest music legends of all time. Congratulations, Globe Theatre, on another memorable production!
Cast of Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story | Direction by Danny Balkwill. Choreography by Julie Tomaino. Set Design by Drew Facey. Costume Design by Roger Schultz. Lighting Design by Wendy (Greenwood) Lundgren. Photos by Chris Graham Photo