BUDDY HOLLY WINTER DANCE PARTY at THEATRE SEVERN SHREWSBURY FRIDAY 12th JULY 2013
Opening the show Buddy Holly tells us it was Nashville 1956 and performed three country style numbers - Rockin' Around With Ollie Vee, Blue Days Black Nights, and Down The Line, as Buddy left the stage the clip on the screen showed a 1950s American television audience with the presenter introducing the Big Bopper who then bounced onto the stage and you could tell from his manner that he wasn't going to take any prisoners. Just like magic the phone rings and he is straight into Chantilly Lace, working his audience ane getting them eating out of the palm of his hand he went into "Running Bear" before introducing and welcoming to the stage Ritchie Valens, who looked every bit a hearthrob as the popper had described him. Tanned, well groomed, tight trousers and with gyrating hips, the ladies loved him. "Little darlin'" "Bonie Maronie" "Donna" and "Johnny Be Goode".
The Bopper returned to the stage with "Shake Rattle & Roll" before going into a patter routine with Valens.
Next guest to take the stage was Dion, smartly dressed in a suit and giving great renditions of "Teenager In Love" and "Dream Lover". Before being joined on stage by the Bopper and Valens for a medley of doo wop numbers - "Donna Prima Donna" "I Wonder Why" and "Runaround Sue" to close the first half.
Headlining this rock n roll extravaganza Buddy Holly took to the stage for the duration of the second half, giving us "Peggy Sue" "That'll Be The Day" "Think It Over" "Rave On" "Heartbeat" "Raining In My Heart" "True Love Ways" "Crying Waiting Hoping" "Bo Diddley" "Well Alright" "Not Fade Away" "Baby I Don't Care" "Blue Suede Shoes" "Rip It Up" "Doesn't Matter Anymore" and "Brown Eyed Handsome Man".
For the finale the Big Bopper returned to the stage singing "White Lightning", Ritchie Valens with "La Bamba" and Dion with "The Wanderer", before Buddy returned with "Oh Boy" and for an encore "Great Balls of Fire" with each star taken a turn on lead vocals.
High lights for me were the drummer coming to the front for "Heartbeat" using the slapping of his thighs to create the beat, and also on "Not Fade Away" using a cardboard box.
Downsides of the show were the little use of the screen at the back of the stage, for what time it was used it might as well be left out, also the use of a modern electronic slap bass instead of using a traditional one, must keep the show authentic as possible.
Portraying the stars in tonights show were Jaymz Denning as JP Richardson aka The Big Bopper, Tim Harwood as Ritchie Valens, Steve Halliday as Dion and finally Marc Robinson as Buddy Holly. Their likeness and portrayals of the originals was uncanny close, and it was a pity that the theatre wasn't at capacity audience for a show that really did recreate Buddy's Winter Dance Party of January 1959 that toured America's mid-west.
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