Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. And it was about Buddy Holly's life and his music. There are three concerts in this play. I think they spent so much time showing concerts because it is about a great singer and guitar player and they wanted people to see what he was actually like in his live concerts. The play shows a bunch of recording sessions too because Buddy Holly and the Crickets made a lot of records. Then you get to know about how they recorded the songs and the fights they had. It shows you that it wasn't always easy to make their own music. Sometimes they had fights and sometimes they were very happy doing their work. I loved the show because I never really knew about Buddy Holly's life; I just knew who he was. I loved it because it is such a good experience because even if you are not a musician, you put yourself in the place of Buddy Holly (Andy Christopher) and you kind of get to know what it feels like to be a musician and how you could get engaged to a girl in 5 hours.

I thought it was really funny how Buddy Holly's mom kept calling the record studio on their telephone and embarrassing him by asking "Has he eaten yet?" He knows that he has to eat at some point--he is almost a grown man--because otherwise he would just starve. It shows that he really cares about music; he loves his job so he tries to do the best at his job. He is going to eat at some point probably in the day, but his mom thinks that he will never eat because he cares too much about his music.

One of the first places that they go to make records is at Decca Records. They have a fight about Peggy Sue when the actual song is called Cindy Lou. The drummer (Joe Cosmo Cogen) has a girlfriend whose name is Peggy Sue, so he wanted to change it to Peggy Sue. He thinks that then his girlfriend will marry him and she does. I think it was kind of right to change the name, but it kind of wasn't. It was right because he made the drummer's girlfriend marry him. But Peggy Sue should have married because she loved him, not because they changed the name of the song.

My favorite song by Buddy Holly is "Everyday." And it goes something like this: "Everyday, is-a getting closer. Running faster, than a roller coaster. Love like this will surely go my way. A-hay! A-hay! A-hay a-hay a-hay!" I loved seeing how it was recorded with the celeste, which sounds like a baby piano. Not a baby grand piano but a baby piano. It sounded like a high-pitched ding. Vi (Carrie A. Johnson), the wife of the recording studio guy Norman Petty (Eric Scott Anthony), played the celeste which I thought was nice because it is mostly about the boys and having that one girl in the band is kind of nice I think. I thought that was important because it shows that the wife of a guy who records these guys can actually do something to a song and make it sound better in a band that is all boys.

There is a very fun part where a singer at The Apollo (Lacretta Nicole) sang "Shout." It doesn't have an exclamation point--but it should! It was fun because Lacretta was such a great singer and I really loved her singing "Shout" because that character seemed very rousing and a hyper character. One of my other favorite things in The Apollo was the bass player (Sam Weber) doing all those cool tricks on his bass--like climbing up on the bass, playing the bass on his back, and playing his bass while he is on top of the bass. They show the scene in The Apollo because The Apollo was an all African-American theater but Buddy Holly and the Crickets are white. So then they are worried that they won't like them, but they love them actually. Buddy Holly was not a racist even though lots of people were racists back then.

There is a really beautiful and sad scene--now I am already getting teary--and it was between Buddy Holly and his wife Maria Elena (Noellia Hernandez) who he decided to marry after he'd known her five hours. She was having a bad dream about Buddy Holly dying in a plane crash. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? And he thinks that "I'm not going to dies in a plane crash." He is not being sarcastic; I'm being sarcastic. I am being sarcastic because he should have listened to his wife and then they could have had a happy ending and he would die when he was 96. Seriously, the wifes are always right when they have dreams. Like Macbeth's wife is right. Julius Caesar's wife is right. Listen to your wives! Geez. He sang this song called "True Love Ways," and it made her feel better, but it shouldn't have. He does this song in their house before he goes on his tour where he dies on the plane. I was happy that they got to have that moment together, but I was also sad because I knew what was going to happen soon and that this was the last time she was ever going to see him again.

The "Chantilly Lace" song which was by the Big Bopper (Ryan G. Dunkin) made me feel a little uncomfortable. There were a bunch of guys on one side and a bunch of girls on the other side. And all the boys were kind of saying romantic stuff to the girls. And it made me feel a little uncomfortable because it was kind of like they were talking to me romantically. Being me, I think that when people are talking in a song, they might be talking to me. All that he really cares about is that his girlfriend is pretty. He doesn't seem to care about what kind of work she does, if she is strong, if she's nice, if she's talented, or if she likes him.

Richie Valens (Ryan Jagru) is a guy who likes to do Elvis moves and likes ladies. He likes doing all that shaking and hip rolling, and he mostly does that to the ladies. And he dies at age 17. I know that seems kind of old, but it actually isn't. He's not even in his twenties. He is on tour with Buddy Holly, and they are also very good friends. His famous song is La Bamba which is a famous song that I know on my violin. It is a fast song in Spanish. I really like it because it is fast and really poppy.

There is a song that I love that is called "Johnny B. Goode." It was their end song, and I have memorized all the verses. They chose that song to sing at the end because it is a song that everybody knows and that everybody could sing along and dance and clap to. You leave the theatre thinking about them being dead, but you also leave the theatre feeling kind of happy because the ending wasn't very sad; it was them singing La Bamba and Johnny B. Goode. It makes me feel good that they had such a good last concert, but it also makes me feel sad that that was their last concert. They would probably all be alive now if it wasn't for that stupid plane.

People who would like this show are people who like concerts, love songs, and getting engaged after five hours. I really liked the show because it is funny, touching, and it lets you get to know Buddy Holly even though he is not alive anymore. This show closes in a week, so hurry up and go see it!

Photos: Hilary Camilleri

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