Cortland Repertory Theatre Presents BUDDY, Now thru 7/6
Cortland Repertory Theatre invites audiences to "Rave On!" with its debut production of the international musical sensation "BUDDY - The Buddy Holly Story". Performances of this hit rock and roll musical will run from today, June 19 - July 6 with evening performances at 7:30. Matinees are available on June 21, 23, 26, 28, 30 and July 2 at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be purchase by calling 800-427-6160 or by visiting the CRT Box Office's new location at 24 Port Watson Street in downtown Cortland. Tickets are also available for sale 24 hours a day through the CRT website at www.cortlandrep.org. Some performances are already sold out, so CRT suggests calling early.
Audiences around the world have been dancing in the aisles at this legendary production. All of Holly's biggest hits are included - "Peggy Sue", "Oh Boy!", "Rave On!" and many more - all smash hits of the golden days of rock n' roll. The show tells the story of the ups and downs of Holly's brief but infamous musical career, from his humble beginnings playing country music with his band The Crickets in the small town of Lubbock, Texas, to exploding onto the rock n' roll scene with his hit "That'll Be The Day". The show includes his accidental booking at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, where he eventually won over the all-black audience. Also told is his controversial marriage to Maria Elana Santiago and the eventual break-up of The Crickets. The show finally explodes into a celebration of youth and lust for life in a recreation of his last concert at Clear Lake, Iowa, which also includes appearances by Ritchie Valens singing "La Bamba" and The Big Bopper performing his hit "Chantilly Lace". All three singers were tragically killed in a plane crash directly following the concert, but the energy and excitement of their music will be captured on the CRT stage with fantastic performances.
Starring as Buddy Holly will be actor/musician Todd Meredith, who last appeared as a performing intern at CRT in 2006, in such shows as "Annie Get Your Gun" and "It Runs in the Family". Since then, he has made a successful career of playing Buddy Holly in 11 previous productions of this show. Meredith also co-directs the show with CRT Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson, and co-music directs with Ithaca College Music Director Joel Gelpe, who served as music director of CRT's production of "CATS" last season.
Most of the cast will make their CRT debuts with this production. Portraying The Crickets are Nathan Yates Douglass as Joe B. Mauldin on bass and Justin Rugg as Jerry Allison on percussion. On rhythm guitar is Sean Riley, who has appeared in CRT's productions of "Rumors" and "Johnny Guitar". PatRick White will portray HiPockets Duncan, the Radio DJ who "discovered" Buddy. Joel Stigliano, previously seen in "The Unexpected Guest" will play Norman Petty, the music producer who made a hit of "That'll Be The Day", and Ashley Pankow plays his pianist wife, Vi. Portraying Buddy's wife Maria Elena is CRT Performing Intern Erika Toderic. As music producer Murray Deutche and also playing trumpet is Robert Gonyo, with Christopher Wren as Bob Hale, the host of the Clear Lake Concert who also plays alto saxophone. The Big Bopper will be played by Mike Brennan, with Danny Caraballo as Ritchie Valens. Ayana Major Bey and Lanny Mitchell both make their CRT debuts as the performers at the Apollo. The remaining CRT performing interns - Daniel Burgos, Clara Childress, Xavier Reyes, Anastasia Teel and Nate Whipple - round out the cast, playing DJ's, fans, reporters and back-up singers. The Clear Lake Concert band is completed by Stephen Fasteau on tenor saxophone and Justin Oswald on trombone.
Stage Manager Laura Croch returns for a second year to CRT, and leads the design and production team. Jason Bolen returns as Scenic Designer, having created the sets for many CRT shows including "CATS", "Grease", and "Chicago". Costumes are created by long-time CRT Costume Designer Jimmy Johansmeyer. Continuing their work this season are Props Designer Lisa Guild, Lighting Designer Annmarie Dugan and Sound Designer Seth Asa Sengel. Nicholas Ryan continues his work at Technical Director and Kait Samuels serves as Assistant Stage Manager.
CRT continues "Friday Night Talk Backs" at which a Q & A session with the actors, designers and crew takes place after every Friday evening performance. Tickets are also on sale for all of CRT's summer season, which includes "The Full Monty", "The 1940's Radio Hour", "Shipwrecked: An Entertainment", "I'll Be Back Before Midnight" and the children's show "The Heroic Adventures of Puss N Boots".