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Theater Review: The Buddy Holly Story

The Buddy Holly Story

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Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theater

Tweetable Review: Buddy Holly Story capture the magic of the music but plays off key as a production

Written and originally produced in 1989, The Buddy Holly Story tells of the career life story (even as short as it is) of the iconic Rock nerd as the 50’s era musician attempted to climb the business ladder to bring his music to the masses. When looking at the newest production currently on National Tour it isn’t necessarily an even hand to compare this musical, well into 15th year of production, to those of current day counterparts. One will easily find overused tropes and pitfalls right out of the box that tend to fall in with these types of genre productions:  a series of characters that don’t want to take chances on the main hero, washed up talent acts freely written to be overtaken,  men of power status who are closed-minded and a main character willing to put their foot down and overcome it all for a chance at the Brass Ring.  Yes, The Buddy Holly Story has all of these things, because, well it helped usher these things into existence , so ultimately what will separate this from the flock? And should you applaud a show simply because it helped to cement the formula in some of today’s modern bio-musicals (Motown, Million Dollar Quartet, etc), or is it now eligible to be written it off as being cliched and overused?   A well polished, excitement driven and freshly directed piece can drive something a long way but unfortunately, for the current tour stopped at the Cadillac Palace only one of these things is true.

Overall, the production of The Buddy Holly Story playing at the Cadillac Palace is worth seeing. Sure, there are certainly faults in this piece of work and with this current tour but for people just being introduced to the young Holly, there are a number of areas to appreciate. The script and staging aren’t too over-the-top and focus in on the most important aspects of the icon’s career,  while the music is prevalent and will give a “Best Of” sample to those looking for something catchy after leaving the theater. Ultimately, even for those deeply knowledgeable about Buddy Holly, its the two performance scenes that help bolster this show into  something worth taking in. Not only are the actual actors themselves spot-on but it will be the best chance to see what made Buddy Holly the icon he truly was – even if you came to the party 50 years too late.

Please note this is a partial review, please click HERE to read full review at Fresh Roasted Films.

~ Matt Miles, 24/7 Contributor
Producer of Fresh Roasted Films

When: Through June 30
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St.
Running time: 2 hours, 30 mins.
Tickets: $22-85 at 800-775-2000 or Broadwayinchicago.com

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