On April 11, for the first time ever, BUDDY – THE Buddy Holly STORY will play at America's longest running professional theater, the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, giving the Jacksonville market a chance to learn about and celebrate the life of the man who changed music forever. Starring in the performance is Tod Meredith, a ten-time veteran of The Buddy Story, who has portrayed Buddy Holly across the United States. The production will run through June 3rd.
Critically acclaimed and a winner of the Tony® Award for Best Musical, BUDDY – THE Buddy Holly STORY tells the story of the three years in which he became the world's top recording artist with a show that features over 20 of Buddy Holly's greatest hits including "Peggy Sue", "That'll Be The Day", "Oh Boy", "Not Fade Away", "Everyday", "Rave On", "Maybe Baby", "Raining In My Heart", Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba", and the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace." More than 20 million people in 20 countries have seen Buddy, in which the magical talents of Buddy Holly have been shared live with many more people than the real Buddy Holly ever had the chance to perform to. An all-ages show, the incredible legacy of the young man with glasses, whose musical career spanned an all-too-brief period during the golden days of rock 'n' roll, continues to live on in Buddy.
After an inauspicious start at Decca Records in Nashville, Buddy and The Crickets sign a contract with up-and-coming innovative record producer, Norman Petty. Within hours of meeting they start to record Buddy's biggest hit "That'll Be The Day" which will rocket up the charts to number one in a matter of weeks. Buddy Holly & The Crickets suddenly become the hottest act in the country.
Now successful, The Crickets travel to New York, where Buddy meets and -- after a courtship which takes all of five hours -- proposes to Maria Elena Santiago, the receptionist of his music publisher. Newly married and ambitious, Buddy completely shifts his focus to New York and an inevitable rift develops between him and The Crickets. The band split and Buddy unexpectedly finds himself having to pursue a solo career. The 'Winter Dance Party 1959' is a tour that travels by bus through the Midwest, quenching the teenage thirst for the new music called Rock & Roll. Here, Buddy's final performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, with Ritchie Valens ("La Bamba") and the 'Big Bopper' J.P. Richardson ("Chantilly Lace") is recreated. After the concert, Buddy breaks his promise to his pregnant wife not to fly as he and the other two headliners board a small plane and fly off into the night for Moorhead only to crash into a plowed field shortly after take-off. There are no survivors.
The tragedy snatches away the lives of three of the world's most dynamic musical talents – Buddy Holly (22), Ritchie Valens (17) and the Big Bopper (28) – and as the legend says, it was "the day the music died…"