Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story opens 2023 season at Drayton Festival Theatre

DRAYTON – Before The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, a bespectacled kid from Texas changed music forever. 

Audiences can witness the meteoric rise of rock n’ roll pioneer Buddy Holly in the award-winning musical Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story at the Drayton Festival Theatre from May 24 to June 10.

The life and career of Charles Hardin Holley (a.k.a. Buddy Holly) are celebrated in this musical biography that chronicles his triumphs and tragedies, from humble beginnings singing country music in small-town Texas to his rise up the popular music charts and into the hearts of music fans around the world.

The show features renditions of Holly’s greatest hits – classics like Peggy Sue, That’ll Be The Day, and many more. 

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story has become a classic in musical theatre and it is known as one of the most successful rock ’n roll musicals in the world,” says Drayton Entertainment artistic director and CEO Alex Mustakas.

 “This production is a brilliant tribute to a true artistic pioneer. Entire runs of the show have completely sold out in the past and we’re convinced our audiences will be absolutely delighted to experience the magic at the Drayton Festival Theatre,” Mustakas states in a press release from the theatre company.

Director Adam Furfaro  has directed several successful Drayton Entertainment productions including The Wizard of Oz and Twelve Angry Men. Furfaro is joined by choreographer Gino Berti, who has choreographed numerous Drayton Entertainment productions, including Twist & Shout: The British Invasion, Legends of Rock and Roll, and Hairspray.

John R. Banister is the music director.

Hailing from London, UK, Banister has played with some of Britain’s top orchestras and has appeared as an actor in several shows in London’s West End including The Sound of Music and Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. 

Tyler Check dons the unmistakable horn-rimmed glasses as Buddy Holly, the leader of The Crickets and a legendary figure in rock ‘n roll history. Check appeared as Carl Perkins in Drayton Entertainment’s Million Dollar Quartet, Doug Alward in Marathon of Hope, and in Kings and Queens of Country. 

Terry Barna is the energetic hometown radio DJ Hipockets Duncan. No stranger to the Drayton stage, Barna has appeared in Buying the Farm, The Birds & The Bees, and Shear Madness, among others. 

J. Sean Elliott tackles two roles: the successful record producer/musician Norman Petty, and music publisher Murray Deutsh. Elliott has been performing in Drayton Entertainment productions for 30 years, most recently appearing in Twelve Angry Men and Million Dollar Quartet. 

Nick Sheculski is the exuberant rock ’n roll star The Big Bopper. Sheculski appeared in Drayton Entertainment’s 2019 hit Grease.

Nico Solarte is the young and promising musician Ritchie Valens, America’s first Hispanic rock star. Solarte has performed around the world, appearing as Willie Lopez in Ghost: The Musical with Starvox Entertainment and in a production of Parade at Lincoln Center in New York City. This is his Drayton Entertainment debut.

The production also features 16 youth performers who appear in the show on a rotating schedule throughout the run alongside the professional company.

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is on stage at the Drayton Festival Theatre from May 24 to June 10.

Regular performance tickets are $55 for adults, $34 for youth under 20 years of age. Tickets for select discount dates and groups of 20 or more are $45, and small groups of 10-19 are $50. 

Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 519-638-5555  or toll free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866), or online at www.draytonentertainment.com.