Photo Flash: Christopher Sutton et al. in BUDDY at Walnut Street Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre concludes its landmark 203rd season with an all-new production of Broadway's BUDDY: THE Buddy Holly STORY. Directed and choreographed by Casey Hushion, the show began previews on May 15th and opens on May 23rd, running through July 15th on the WST Mainstage.
Christopher Sutton (Buddy), says this is the first time in the history of the Walnut Street Theatre that the same actor has played the same role twice. Sutton plays opposite his wife Lyn Philistine as Maria Elena. See photos of the couple and the rest of the cast on stage below!
BUDDY - THE Buddy Holly STORY has been seen by more than 20 million people across the globe and now Philadelphia audiences can relive the magic of his music. Buddy Holly was a brilliant musician who changed the face of popular music and paved the way for the next generation of rock'n'rollers. BUDDY follows this superstar's meteoric rise to fame, from his humble country music roots to the top of the record charts and his untimely death in 1959. Audiences will experience his rousing fifties favorites, including "Peggy Sue," "Oh Boy," "Maybe Baby," "That'll Be the Day," "Raining In My Heart," Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba" and the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace."
Written by Alan Janes, with music by Buddy Holly, BUDDY - THE Buddy Holly STORY premiered at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London's West End on October 12, 1989 and ran in London for 12 years. The Broadway production opened on November 4, 1990 at the Shubert Theatre. The show has toured world-wide, including performances in South Africa, Norway, Japan and Iceland.
Casey Hushion makes her Walnut debut as Director and Choreographer with BUDDY - THE Buddy Holly STORY. Hushion was Assistant Director and Associate Director for Broadway shows including Elf, In the Heights, The Drowsy Chaperone, To Be or Not To Be and Good Vibrations. She is also the Artistic Director of North Carolina Theatre, where she has directed over 20 productions. Regionally, Hushion has worked with Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Casa Mañana and Music Theatre of Wichita. Hushion is joined by local Music Director John Daniels.
The golden years of rock n' roll will come to life on the Walnut's stage with a set designed by Robert Andrew Kovach (God of Carnage, Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I), lighting design by Paul Black (Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, The 39 Steps) and costume design by the award-winning Costume Designer Colleen Grady (God of Carnage, Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I). The Walnut welcomes Sound Designer Matt Kraus for his first production with the theatre.
The cast includes Christopher Sutton as the one and only Buddy Holly. Walnut audiences will remember Sutton from Blood Brothers and Finian's Rainbow, while the larger US audience will remember him from the National Tour of Spamalot. Sutton is joined by Lyn Philistine (Gypsy with Bernadette Peters and Cinderella with Eartha Kitt), making her Walnut debut as Buddy's love interest, Maria Elena. This role comes naturally as Philistine is Sutton's real-life wife. Philadelphia favorites Scott Greer (Les Misérables, Of Mice and Men) and Anthony Lawton (Amadeus, Of Mice and Men) play the big Bopper and Hipockets Duncan, respectively. Angela C. Howell (Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story) is Vi Petty, a role she played in the National Tour, and Miguel Jarquin-Moreland (National Tour of RENT) is Ritchie Valens.
The dynamic trio Danielle G. Herbert (Aspects of Love, My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra), Troy Valjean Rucker and Jim Thomas (Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story) play performers at the Apollo. New to the Walnut is Rachel Camp (Candy), Ned Massey (Norman Petty), Luke Smith (4th Cricket), Jason Yachanin (Jerry Allison) and Eli Zoller (Joe B. Mauldin). The ensemble includes Johanna Carden, Aaron Cromie, Charlie DelMarcelle, Sarah Gliko, Sarah Hund and Greg Nix.
BUDDY - THE Buddy Holly STORY runs at the Walnut May 15 through July 15. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.
Photo credit: Mark Gavin
Luke Smith and Christopher Sutton
Eli Zoller, Christopher Sutton and Troy Valjean Rucker
Jim Thomas, Eli Zoller, Jason Yachanin and Christopher Sutton
Johanna Carden, Christopher Sutton and Lyn Philistine
Lyn Philistine, Ned Massey, Christopher Sutton and Ensemble
BUDDY: THE Buddy Holly STORY Company