From the early beginnings of his career to his hardships as an artist, “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” tells a beautiful tale about the life of singer-songwriter Buddy Holly. Not only did his ambition for his career change the way people viewed music, but his songs also broke a lot of racial barriers present during the time.
The show is approximately two and a half hours and is split into two acts with an intermission in between. After being unsure of what to expect and not knowing much about Buddy Holly, the lights hit the stage, and the first glimpse into Buddy Holly as a person was the start of an unforgettable show.
One of the best parts of the show was how interactive it was. Unexpectedly, the actors and actresses engaged with the audience, and having this aspect included in the experience made the show much better. Everyone was singing, dancing and overall having a great time. This also put many things into perspective, as it really showed how music has the ability to bring people together.
The first act of the show started off with Buddy Holly getting a record deal with Decca Records and then, as time progressed into the second act, the show portrayed the growth of his music, his relationship with his band members and the personal relationships that he formed. While looking for record deals, as well as making music, he ended up falling in love with María Elena Santiago, eventually proposing to her five hours after meeting her. This scene was important because of Buddy Holly’s conversation with his mother after proposing to María. At one point during the conversation, after he told his mother María’s name, Buddy replied to his mother defensively.
“Yeah she is, and that doesn’t change the fact that I love her,” Holly said.
Based on the reaction that Holly had to his mother’s comments, it was implied that his mother did not approve of María because her name did not sound white. This scene was significant because, during this time, racial subjugation and discrimination were rampant, and Buddy’s ability to accept someone regardless of their identity showed much about his character. Regardless of Buddy’s mother’s inability to accept María for her son, he loved her effortlessly, dedicating a lot of his music to her as well as their future child.
In one key scene of the show, Buddy and his band, The Crickets, perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The scene showed a lot about the impact that Buddy had on all of his listeners. Performing at a predominantly Black theater, Buddy was unsure as to how his music would be viewed. Despite this, once he got on stage and began performing, people fell in love with both him and his music. This scene was also of importance as it gave exposure to both a Black female performer and a Black male performer.
As Buddy’s life went on, he continued to perform while making music that changed people’s lives. Unfortunately, at the age of 22, Buddy Holly died in a tragic plane crash which left everyone devastated. “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” depicts Buddy Holly’s life beautifully and effortlessly, showing how his music makes such an impact on so many people’s lives even today. Hopefully, you all also get the opportunity to experience the life of Buddy Holly through this show — because the performances will definitely leave you wanting an encore!