Buddy, Grand Opera House, York

Glen Joseph played Buddy Holly in the hit musical
Glen Joseph played Buddy Holly in the hit musical

It was Rave On at the opening night of the well-loved musical Buddy, as we went back in time to the 1950s.

Glen Joseph was superb in his role as Buddy (played by Alex Fobbester at certain performances), capturing Buddy Holly’s boundless energy and drive.

Buddy was the first performer to wear glasses on stage, he knew his own mind, and refused to let others deter him, either with his music or his self-image; Oh Boy! What an influential force this dynamic young rocker has been on countless teenagers, including Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and many, more; the music definitely didn’t die on that fatal day, February 3 1959.

Everything about this production oozed quality; a multi-talented cast told the tale of Buddy’s meteoric rise to fame, from his first steps in Lubbock Texas, through his first recording contract with the Crickets and his move to New York, to his fatal, final tour, when, frustrated by travelling on a dilapidated bus in the deep winter chill, he hired a plane that crashed shortly after take-off at Clear Lake, Iowa.

Despite the tragic outcome, this was a real feel-good show, and you felt you were really there, from their Apollo club appearance (classy choreography too, from Miguel Angel) the spectacular Winter Dance Party (with stunning performances from The Big Bopper (Thomas Mitchells) and Ritchie Valens (Jordan “Snakehips” Cunningham )to the high energy encore where we were all up and dancing to those timeless hits, That’ll Be The Day, Johnny B Goode, Oh Boy … the list goes on.