Great Lakes Center For The Arts
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The day the music died…

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge with Andy Christopher as Buddy Holly

On August 17-18, 2018, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts will proudly present the musical theater production Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story directed by internationally acclaimed Tony Award nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge. The show recounts the life of Buddy Holly and his rich legacy to the world of music, with Andy Christopher playing the role of Buddy Holly.

Before the Beatles or the Stones ever played a note, popular music was forever changed by the bespectacled kid from Lubbock, Texas – Buddy Holly… Witness his story explode in a toe-tapping, hand-clapping extravaganza, which will have you ‘up and dancing in the aisles’!

Viewed by more than 22 million people in over 23,000 performances worldwide, Buddy opened in London’s West End in 1989 and has been seen on Broadway, throughout the U.S. and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, Japan, South Africa, and Singapore, winning numerous awards along the way. Now in its 27th incredible year, ‘the World’s most successful Rock & Roll musical’ continues to thrill audiences on tour in the U.K. and around the world.

The action takes place in Lubbock, Texas, Clovis, New Mexico, New York, and Clear Lake, Iowa between January 1956 and February 1959. Starting out as a Country and Western singer in Lubbock, Buddy and his two friends, Joe and Jerry, form “The Crickets.” With the support of a local radio DJ, ‘Hipockets’ Duncan, they begin to carve out a career in music. After an inauspicious start at Decca Records in Nashville, Buddy and The Crickets sign a contract with up-and-coming innovative record producer, Norman Petty. Within hours of meeting, they start to record Buddy’s biggest hit, “That’ll Be the Day.” Buddy’s final performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, with Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba”) and the ‘Big Bopper’ J.P. Richardson (“Chantilly Lace”) is recreated.  After the concert, Buddy breaks his promise to his pregnant wife not to fly as he and the two headliners board a small plane and fly off into the night for Moorhead, Minnesota, only to crash into a field. The tragedy snatches away the lives of three dynamic musical talents – Buddy Holly (22), Ritchie Valens (17), and the Big Bopper (28) – and is often referred to as “the day the music died.”

Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge’s accolades span the world throughout her lifetime. She was nominated for several Tony Awards in 2010 for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Revival of a Musical plus five additional Performance and Design nominations. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, and Broadway are just a few of the venues where Dodge has directed/choreographed some of the more than 200 productions in her repertoire. Dodge is also a published and produced playwright, along with her husband Anthony Dodge. Together they have written several books, musicals, and plays including Sherlock Holmes & the West End Horror, Hats! A Music and Comedy Celebration, Look Homeward Honky Tonk Angel, and Venus Flytrap.

Reflecting on the musical, Dodge said, “I am inspired and challenged by all kinds of storytelling. When I first directed Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story​ it was at an 11,000-seat theatre with a cast of 40. I was hooked. I also sensed that inside this large musical there was a scrappy little musical about a young man who helped to change the face of rock & roll forever. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to launch this new intimate version of Buddy for the GLCFA. I hope it will take the audience back to a simpler time when the world’s worries revolved around whether a rock & roll song was too risqué, and music was the heartbeat of the nation.”

The GLCFA is thrilled to welcome the renowned talent of Marcia Milgrom Dodge and the musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story as the cast tours Germany, Texas, Arizona, Chicago, Canada, England, Georgia, New York, Virginia, and Northern Michigan.


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