BWW Review: BUDDY - THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY Rolls in at Beef & Boards
Nostalgia can be big business, especially in musical theater. Harking back to some by-gone, golden age permeates both politics and pop culture now, but nostalgia has always been rose-tinted and shines above and beyond any hardships, struggles, and even life. Beef & Board once again hits the nail on the head and has successfully recreated classic rock and roll.
To me, the set and costumes felt like bright indicators of a vibrant post-war- optimism, and I felt like I was literally in a time machine. Buddy was played with cheeky polish by Kyle Jurassic. Holly's musical geekiness (spawning generations of uber-hip heavy glasses-wearers) and determination to record his way to the top really came across perfectly from Jurassic's performance, and his guitar playing was skillful. The score of the show ranged from sappy band-esque Peggy Sue Got Married to the jumping Oh Boy. However, it was the beautiful harmonies in Words of Love that echoed down through me.
Much like other musicals based on singer-songwriters, there are some really good moments when the audience sings or hums along almost like a lullaby. Packed with extremely rip-roaring numbers delivered with consistent energy, Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story at Beef & Boards is a great night out, lacking in any disappointment, and is still able to pay respect and homage to his untimely death.
For me, part of what made the show so impressive was the demand. It placed on the actors, not just as vocalists, but also as musicians. Watcing this show, was like watching a concert from the 50's come to life. There were exceptional guitar riffs, balancing on basses, and a personal favorite (for obvious reasons) was the quirky and oft-forgotten celeste.
One of my favorite parts was the scenes in the Apollo Theatre. It served to remind us how much music can bring us together as fellow members of the human family. Another standout scene was when Buddy serenades his wife. There was no band or pit orchestra to fall back on, so Kyle Jurassic got the chance to show off his raw talent and guitar skills.
Part of what made this show feel like history come to life was the use of the order of the stage to display names of locations, time periods, and archival photos of the real Buddy Holly and his band. It served as a reminder that Buddy's genius only had the chance to shine for a brief period. His loss and the loss of his compatriots was a true tragedy, but this musical stands as a moving tribute to all he was able to accomplish.
To hear the story of what really happened before the day the music died, be sure to see the show now through August 18th.