Sunday, July 7

Theater Review: Beef and Boards: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story

Maybe it is because I grew up hearing the Don McLean song, American Pie, but I have always had an interest in Buddy Holly. Now, Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, is featuring Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story on stage through Aug. 18.

Although McLean's lyrics were woven throughout more than a decade of disappointments, they all started because of that fateful night when Holly, an early pioneer of the Rock 'n' Roll genre, was killed at age 22, in a plane crash. The crash included other up-and-comers Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, Jr.

Kyle Jurassic dons the iconic black-rimmed glasses portraying Holly with enthusiasm and deft ability. Drawing you in with his exuberance and pace. Jurassic matches Holly's style perfectly.

Valens is portrayed superbly by Edward LaCardo, while Chuck Caruso turns in an impressive performance as The Big Bopper.

Tarra Conner Jones and Joshue L.K. Patterson rock the audience as performers at the Apollo Theatre when Holly and The Crickets perform due to a misunderstanding that Holly and crew were African-American. D.J. Hipockets Duncan, portrayed by Indy favorite John Vessels, brings his radio listeners (and the audience) updates on Holly's life and career throughout the show.

In just under three years, Holly rocketed to the top of the charts, producing hit singles, albums and appearing in top television shows American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show. Touring was added in to reach audiences across the nation. With a frantic pace and bitterly cold winter conditions, Holly chartered a plane to take himself, Valens and Bopper to the next location. Just after takeoff, the plane plunged into the frozen ground immediately killing all upon board.

Featuring almost two dozen of Holly's hits, including Peggy Sue and Rave On, Valens' La Bamba and Bopper's Chantilly Lace, this production is easy to get lost in. It is family friendly, which means it is safe to take your grandma and older children.

Bottom Line: Beef and Boards' Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, with its powerful talented cast, is certain to become a summer hit.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.