BUDDY - The Buddy Holly Story Comes to American Blues Theater
American Blues Theater concludes its 2017-2018 Season with BUDDY - The Buddy Holly Story, written by Alan Janes, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, with musical direction by Ensemble Member Michael Mahler. BUDDY - The Buddy Holly Story runs April 27 - May 26, 2018 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.
Before the Beatles or the Rolling Stones ever played a note, rock & roll was forever changed by the bespectacled kid from Texas. BUDDY tells the true story of Buddy Holly through his short yet spectacular career and features the classic songs "That'll be the Day," "Peggy Sue," The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace," Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba," plus many more.
"Buddy Holly is an American music icon. He's regarded as one of the most significant figures in the birth of rock music and is often cited as the innovator of the traditional rock lineup of instruments - two guitars, bass, and drums. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Elton John all name Buddy Holly as a major inspiration in their respective careers," notes Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside. "Lost too soon, we're fortunate to have his vast songbook and recordings. American Blues is thrilled to share his legacy with the next generation."
The cast of BUDDY includes Angela Alise (Apollo Performer), Chuckie Benson (Apollo Performer), Liz Chidester (Vi Petty), Ian Paul Custer (Hi Pockets), Ann Delaney (Company), Vasily Deris (Big Bopper), Jennifer Dymit (Company), Alex Goodrich (Clearlake Announcer), Derek Hasenstab (Norman Petty), Molly Hernández (Maria Elena), Cisco Lopez (Ritchie Valens), Michael Mahler* (Tommy / Cricket; music director), Kieran McCabe (Jerry / Cricket), Daniel Riley (Apollo Performer), Zachary Stevenson (Buddy Holly) and Shaun Whitley (Joe / Cricket).
The creative team includes Sarah E. Ross* (scenic design), Samantha C. Jones* (costume design), Jared Gooding* (lighting design), Rick Sims* (sound design), Kevin Rolfs (properties), Malcolm Ruhl (music consultant) and John Martinez (assistant director and choreographer). The Production Stage Manager is Cara Parrish*.
*American Blues Theater Ensemble and Artistic Affiliates.
About the Artists
Alan James (Playwright) is an English writer and producer who has worked in TV, film, radio, and theatre. His best-known work is the musical Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story which ran for over 14 years and almost 6,000 performances in London's West End and has been on tour in the UK for 17 years. Buddy has also played Broadway, 5 U.S. National Tours, 8 years in Germany, 3 years in Australia and New Zealand, and countless other productions around the world. Janes was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Musical for Buddy. He also co-wrote and produced the musicals 125th Street and Jailhouse Rock, which both premiered on London's West End.
Lili-Anne Brown (Director) A native Chicagoan, Brown works as a director, actor and educator, both locally and regionally. She is the former Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she directed Dessa Rose (Jeff Award), Passing Strange (BTA Award and Jeff nomination for Best Director of a Musical), See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep), and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland. Other directing credits include The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theater); Marie Christine (BoHo Theatre); Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts); The Wiz (Kokandy Productions, BroadwayWorld Award); Xanadu (American Theater Company); Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi E. Kelley (world premiere, Chicago Children's Theatre); American Idiot (Northwestern University); the national tour of Jesus Snatched My Edges; Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story (Timber Lake Playhouse). She is a member of SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and a graduate of Northwestern University.
Michael Mahler (Tommy / Cricket; Music Director) is an Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. His Blues appearances include It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, "Seymour" in Little Shop of Horrors, "Clifford" in Side Man, and "Jimmy" in Hank Williams: Lost Highway. Other Chicagoland credits include Honeymoon in Vegas (Marriott Theatre); The March (Steppenwolf Theatre); Working (Broadway Playhouse); The Illusion (Court Theatre); The Fox on the Fairway, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Jeff nomination), and The Producers (Theatre at the Center). Recent music directing c