“Buddy” at Weston Theater Company

WESTON, Vt. – Weston Theater Company takes audiences for a musical ride chronicling Buddy Holly’s rise to fame in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” playing June 28 – July 16 at The Playhouse stage.

Rock out with the one and only Buddy Holly. Transport yourself back to the 1950s with this show telling the story of Holly’s rise to fame, his struggles with the music industry, and his enduring legacy as one of the pioneers of rock and roll. This high-energy, must-see show features all of Holly’s hits, including “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be the Day,” and “Everyday.” It’s a heartwarming and inspiring tale that will have you leaving the theater with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Now in its 34th year, the “world’s most successful rock-and-roll musical” continues to rock stages worldwide. The Weston production is directed by Meredith Mcdonough, who says, “We are so excited to transport you back to the 1950s with this amazing music – capturing the time and essence of a musical legend. This show is filled with not only Holly’s greatest hits, but also intimate behind-the-scenes moments – we are celebrating Buddy Holly’s enduring legacy here in Weston. Join Weston Theater Company on a rockin’ ride as they honor his talent – and the power of music to inspire and unite.” McDonough is a Weston alum whose past credits include “An Iliad” and “Always…Patsy Cline.”

The show introduces Billy Finn to the Weston stage as the legendary Buddy Holly. Finn recently played Buddy Holly in the new musical “The Wanderer.” Finn’s New York credits include appearances at Irish Rep, Ars Nova, The Public, New Dramatists, Playwrights Horizons, and more. Ben Johnson joins the cast as Jerry Allison. Johnson most recently performed as Andrej in “Once,” at Pittsburgh MT, Buddy in “Elf” at the Studio, and Mitch in “Dear Soldier Boy” at Blue Gate Musicals. Lena Richard, a New Orleans-based performer whose TV credits include WGN, Black Entertainment Television, Disney, Peacock, and The Oprah Winfrey Network, plays Marlena. Isaiah Reynolds plays Tyrone. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory, some of Reynold’s favorite credits include “Chior Boy” at Portland Center Stage, and “Five Guys Named Moe” at The Fulton Theater. Ariana Papaleo also makes her Weston debut. Previous credits include Nina in “In the Heights” at Playhouse Stage Co., Portia in “The Mercant of Venice” at NYU’s Classical Studio, and “A Christmas Story” at Capital Repertory Theater. Jason Cohen, who has previously acted in or musically directed six other productions of “Buddy,” plays Tommy. With his production company Emmett Productions, emmettproductionsllc.com, he creates, produces, and performs theatrical concerts. Maggie Hollinbeck plays Vi Petty. Some of Hollinbeck’s recent roles include “Once” on the 1st National Tour, “Woody Sez” at Ivoryton Playhouse, and “Ring of Fire” at Florida Rep. Adrian Lopez plays Richie Valens. Lopez’s credits include “Spamilton: An American Parody” on the 1st National Tour, “Once,” and “Ring of Fire” at the Geva Theatre Company. Seasoned Weston company member David Bonanno plays HiPockets in his 50th Weston production. Memorable Weston productions include “An Iliad,” “Fun Home,” “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” and “The Music Man.” Other credits include “The Light in the Piazza,” Chicago companies of “Ragtime” and “Lend me a Tenor,” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” on the National Tour. Music Director Matt Cusack also plays Joe B. Credits include “One Man Two Guvnors,” and “Bandstand.”

Movement and dance are choreographed by seasoned Weston alum Felicity Stiverson, whose past company credits include “Hair,” “Ring of Fire,” “The Fantasticks,” “West Side Story,” and more. Bringing the 50s back to life is award-winning set designer Lex Liang. Decking out Buddy and the Crickets in their swagger is costume designer Kathleen Geldard. Joanna Lynne Staub brings her Broadway, regional, and national experience to her role as sound designer on Weston’s stage. Designer and teacher Marika Kent joins the crew as the light designer.

“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” plays at The Playhouse from June 28 – July 16. Discounts are available for Vermont residents. Tickets are available online at www.westontheater.org, and by calling the Weston box office at 802-824-5288.

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