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A poignant portrait of a rock n' roll
trailblazer packed with plenty of classic tunes

"Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story"
Cadillac Palace Theatre
Chicago, IL
June 19, 2013
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Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity photos courtesy of Broadway In Chicago

Long before The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly was ramping up the rock n' roll movement with his classic songwriting sensibilities, jangly guitar sounds, signature spectacles and sturdy backing band The Crickets. Considering he was so far ahead of the times, it's no surprise that "Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story" was also one of the first jukebox musicals to ever debut well over a decade before "Million Dollar Quartet" or "Jersey Boys" with millions of fans catching the songs and saga since its debut in 1989.

On its latest Broadway tour, the cast is nothing short of exceptional, re-creating the life of Holly both on and off the stage, along with equally colorful colleagues like Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and other less famous faces still integral to the storyline. Of course, Holly's biography takes center spotlight, starting with the days he cast stones at traditional country music to his initial hopes of shaking up the music scene up with songs like "Flower Of My Heart" and "That'll Be The Day."

As those rollicking sounds start catching on, the unassuming star only gets refined with time, turning in blueprints for the entire rock n' roll genre like "Not Fade Away," "Peggy Sue" and "Oh Boy" (all of which are expertly delivered by actor/singer/guitarist Andy Christopher and his equally talented backers). In both real life and the show, Holly has no trouble ruling the radio or conquering concert stages (even the notoriously finicky Apollo Theatre in Harlem), but he never lets fame go to his head and remains wholeheartedly committed to his wife (whom he proposed to after a mere five hours) and their child that's on the way.

But like many innovators, the 22-year-old's life is cut unfathomably short on "the day the music died" leaving behind a devastated entourage of fans, musical colleagues, and most importantly, a budding family at the hands of plane ride in a blizzard that could've been prevented had he simply stayed on the tour bus. Thankfully, "Buddy" doesn't dwell on what could've been, but simply puts Holly's music on a justified pedestal, allowing multiple generations to trace the family tree of rock back to practically the beginning.

"Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story" continues at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through June 30. For additional details, visit

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he Buddy Holly Story

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