Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story March 6, 2015

Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story Turns Back the Cerritos Clock
                                                  By Glen Creason

      On a weekend when the clocks spin forward it was ironic that the musical on the Center for the Performing Arts stage spun it backwards delightfully fifty-six years.  The show that came here was top-rate with nostalgic sets and costumes, a solid sound system and strong performances from all over the cast. Certainly, many in this well-seasoned Cerritos audience remember hearing Buddy Holly’s irresistible sound coming out of their car radios back in those cruising days but to hear the songs live with modern technology was lots of fun and achingly evocative of a time we still cherish. As far as this production went on Friday night at Cerritos Todd Meredith as Buddy stood tall in his acting and playing to the point where you caught a glimpse at the young man who captivated America for a couple of years in the early days of rock and roll. The beauty of Holly’s amazing gift however is that his uncanny ability to write pop hooks with simple, straightforward lyrics allow them to survive to this day. Every song played in this show was a winner, each a half a century evergreen hit.  It helped this Buddy that he was surrounded by a fine supporting cast including Steve Steiner as High-Pockets, Jenny Stodd as the bereaved Maria Elena, Marianne Depietro in several roles, the acrobatic Bill Morey as bass-man-showman Joe B. Mauldin and Nathan Yates Douglass as the put-upon Norman Petty. Special mention should be made of the truly sensational efforts put forward by David Reeve throughout in his dancing and singing along with Eddie Maldonado who absolutely lit up the stage every time he gyrated upon it including two show stopping numbers “Shout” with Reeve and a super-heated La Bamba that would have Richie Valens smiling from beyond. Truthfully, Reeve and Maldonado took a good story with memorable songs and turned up the heat and added some chile to the banquet.  Yet, the real megastar of this show is the music of Buddy Holly who was a true genius of popular music, creating great stuff record after record after record until his young life was snuffed out in that terrible plane crash in Clear Lake Iowa back in 1959 on the day the music died.  This show makes sure the audience gets to remember why Buddy Holly brought rock and roll into the 60’s with songs like “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue, “ “Words of Love,” “Every day,” “Well Alright,” “True Love Ways,” It’s So Easy” and the true to the spirit “Rave On.”


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