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Andy Christopher, Nicholas Rodriguez & More Will Star in BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY at The Muny

The Muny announced today the cast for its production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Written by Alan Janes, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, choreographed by Josh Walden and music directed by Michael Horsley.

The full cast includes Andy Christopher (Buddy Holly), Nicholas Rodriguez (Ritchie Valens), John Scherer (Hipockets Duncan), Jo Lynn Burks (Vi Petty), Joe Cosmo Cogen (Jerry Allison), Christopher Ryan Grant (Big Bopper), Ben Nordstrom (Clearlake MC), Michael James Reed (Norman Petty), Sharone Sayegh (Maria Elena), and Sam Weber (Joe Mauldin). With Theodore Brookins, Richard Costa, Nathan Douglas, Margaret Dudasik, Jahi Eskridge, Lamar Harris, Teressa Kindle, Kyle Lacy, Shawn Platzker, Troy Valjean Rucker, Nick Savage, Nasia Thomas, and Brinie Wallace.

"The talent and energy and soul of this American pop icon will explode on The Muny stage this summer," said Muny artistic director and executive producer Mike Isaacson. "This amazing cast is full of triple-threats who are fantastic singers, musicians and actors. It promises to be epic fun."

Making its Muny premiere, Buddy -The Buddy Holly Story is based on the all too short life and career of Buddy Holly. Buddy Holly created the sounds and styles that defined American rock 'n roll, and this fantastic show features such hit songs as "That'll Be The Day," "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" "Peggy Sue" and "Johnny B. Goode." Buddy -The Buddy Holly Story opened in London's West End where it ran for over 12 years. It premiered on Broadway in 1990.

Scenic design is by Robert Mark Morgan, with costume design by Tracy Christensen, lighting design by Nathan W. Scheuer, sound design by John Shivers & Hugh Sweeney and video design by Matthew Young. Wig design is by John Metzner and the production stage manager is Nevin Hedley. Buddy -The Buddy Holly Story is proudly sponsored by Missouri Lottery.

ANDY CHRISTOPHER (Buddy Holly) is making hisMuny debut. Five years ago, he picked up a guitar for the first time and was taught to play by Buddy Holly's nephew, Eddy Weir, and West End musical director, John Banister. National Tour: Buddy! (Buddy). Regional: Maine State Music Theatre, The Fulton Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, West Virginia Public Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, Ogunquit Playhouse.

NICHOLAS RODRIGUEZ (Ritchie Valens) The Muny: Tarzan (Tarzan), Beauty and the Beast (2010 - Gaston). Broadway: Tarzan. Off-Broadway: Toxic Avenger, Almost Heaven, Collette Collage, Bajour. Tours: Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Hair. Regional: Mother Courage and Her Children, Oklahoma! (Helen Hayes Award), My Fair Lady, Light in the Piazza at Arena Stage; The Ten Commandments at the Kodak Theatre; Mothers and Sons, Master Class, LES MISERABLES (ACoT Award) at ZACH Theatre; Camelot at Two River Theatre. Film: Sex in the City II (also soundtrack) Television: Nick Chavez, One Life to Live (GLAAD Award), Madam Secretary. Artistic Director: Broadway Dreams Foundation.

JOHN SCHERER (Hipockets Duncan) has appeared on Broadway in LoveMusik, directed by the legendary Harold Prince and as Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard opposite Betty Buckley. He starred in the Broadway and film versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber's By Jeeves, written and directed by Sir Alan Ayckbourn. Other NY credits include The Most Happy Fella (NYC Opera) and the all-star Actors Fund benefit of Funny Girl. His regional credits include the Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Goodspeed Opera House, St. Louis Rep and many others. Film and television credits include Spinning Into Butter, The Shield, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order, Titus and Guiding Light.

JO LYNN BURKS (Vi Petty) originated the role of Vi Petty in Buddy on Broadway, as well as the first national tour.Other Broadway credits as keyboardist include Smokey Joe's Café, The Full Monty, All Shook Up, The Wedding Singer, The Color Purple, Ring of Fire and Hairspray. National tours (musical director or keyboardist): Fame, Smokey Joe's Café, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Mamma Mia! Touring artists: Laura Bell Bundy, Gladys Knight. Lead singers: The Temptations, Leslie Gore, Roger DaltreyTV acting roles: All My Children, One Life to Live. BA, U of Alabama; MM, U of Miami; professor in musical theatre, Belmont University.

JOE COSMO COGEN (Jerry Allison) is thrilled to be making his Muny debut with a show that is very near and dear to his heart. National Tours: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Regional: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Maine State Music Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Eldorado Casino and Surflight Theatre); Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance (Maine State Music Theatre). Joe is also an accomplished session and studio drummer in NYC performing with various artists in some of the city's most prestigious venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Highline Ballroom, BB King's Blues Club, 54 Below and many more.

Christopher Ryan Grant (Big Bopper) Million Dollar Quartet (Broadway, off- Broadway, first national tour). New York: Lincoln Center, The Public, New World Stages, The Wild Project, IRT, Rattlestick, Cherry Lane, The Red Fern, Three Day Hangover. Regional: The Shakespeare Theatre, DC; Yale Rep; Two River Theatre; The O'Neill. Film/TV: Rolling on the Floor Laughing - official selections for Sundance, Milan, Toronto Film Festivals; Hard Times For Softcore; Wiseguys. University of Evansville, BFA. Yale School of Drama, MFA.

BEN NORDSTROM (Clearlake MC) is thrilled to return to The Muny. Work in and around St. Louis includes the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Arrow Rock Lyceum, HotCity, Mustard Seed, OnSite, Temporary and Echo Theatre. New York and regional appearances include Arvada Center, Theatre Raleigh, Great Lakes Theater Fest, Alley and many off-Broadway shows you've never heard of. You may also see or hear Ben in TV and radio spots for Missouri Lottery, West County Nissan, St. Louis Cardinals and Schnucks. Member Actors' Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. BFA, Webster Conservatory.

MICHAEL JAMES REED (Norman Petty) The Muny: Tarzan, South Pacific, West Side Story, The King and I. Shakespeare Festival St. Louis: Antony & Cleopatra, Henry IV & V, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis including last season's The Winslow Boy and A Midsummer Night's Dream (St. Louis Theatre Circle Award Winner). New York: La Bête (Broadway), King Lear (Roundabout Theatre), Amphitryon (Classic Stage Co.), A Forest in Arden. Favorite Regional: The Old Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, Alley Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Asolo Theatre Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Great Lakes Theater Festival. TV: Numb3rs, 24, JAG, Six Feet Under, The Shield, King of Queens, That 70's Show, Chicago PD.

SHARONE SAYEGH (Maria Elena) is thrilled to be making her Muny debut in Buddy! Broadway: Mamma Mia! Regional: Around the World in 80 Days (Florida Rep), Disconnect (San Jose Rep, BACC nomination), Bengal Tiger (The Lark), Damn Yankees (Reprise). NY: Hazel (directed by Lucie Arnaz), Sheila Levine (directed by Susan Stroman), Hooray For Iceboy (directed by John Rando), War is F*cking Awesome (directed by Leisl Tommy), Bring it On reading (directed by Andy Blankenbuehler). TV: Don't Know Jack (HULU). BFA Syracuse University.

SAM WEBER (Joe Mauldin) is a Wisconsin native who has fallen in love with this music. National Tours: Buddy Holly Story (Joe B.), Regional Favorites: Buddy Holly Story (Joe B., Fulton/Ogunquit/Gateway/MSMT), Chamberlain (Tom Chamberlain, MSMT).

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