The Buddy Holly Story, now live on stage at Artscape Opera House


PIETER TOERIEN presents a new, full-scale stage production of the hit rock ‘n roll jukebox musical, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, at the Artscape Opera House, now until 16 April, and thereafter at The Teatro at Montecasino from 21 April to 28 May.

Directed by internationally renowned English director and choreographer, Nick Winston (Bonnie and Clyde, Fame, Cats, Chess, We Will Rock You! and Annie), this tribute musical follows the incredible journey of Buddy’s meteoric rise to the top of the record charts during the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll. Leading an all-South African cast is singer-songwriter Jethro Tait.

Buddy Holly began as a country and western singer in Texas, and with his friends Jerry Allison and Joe B Mauldin, formed The Crickets in 1957. With the support of local radio DJ Hipockets Duncan, Buddy Holly shot to stardom. He died tragically in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, alongside Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson (The Big Bopper). It was a tragedy that shook the world, and as the legend says, “it was the day the music died”. 

With classic songs such as That’ll Be The Day, True Love Ways, Oh Boy, Peggy Sue, Chantilly Lace, La Bamba, Rave On, Johnny B. Goode, Everyday, and many, many more, the show is guaranteed to have audiences on their feet and dancing in the aisles.

The action takes place in Lubbock, Texas, Clovis, New Mexico, New York and Clear Lake, Iowa, between January 1956 and February 1959.

The ensemble includes Bethany Dickson (Matilda – The Musical, Grease, The Sound Of Music) and Keaton Ditchfield (Evita, Saturday Night Fever, West Side Story), with Michael Stray, Chad Baai, Simone Neethling, Gianluca Gironi, Thoko Jiyane, Che-Jean Jupp, Gerard Van Rooyen, Koketso Mere, Gabriela Dos Santos, Vituous Kandemiri, Sindiswa Ndlovu, and Morgan Marshall. 

Original set and costume designs are by Fleur du Cap winner, Niall Griffin (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and musical direction is by Wessel Odendaal (The Phantom Of The Opera, Here’s To You – The Simon And Garfunkel Songbook, Avenue Q, The Sound Of Music). 

  • Tickets range from R150 to R500 at Webtickets or the Theatre box office on (021) 438 3300/1
  • Running time: Approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes (including a 20-minute interval) 
  • Age restriction: Suitable for ages 8+
  • Performances at the Artscape Opera House run from Tuesdays to Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Sunday 16 April at 2pm and 6pm 
  • Group bookings: [email protected]

PHOTO CREDIT: Gustav Klotz

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