Friday, April 8, 2022

Review of "The Buddy Holly Story"


There are two reasons to see The Buddy Holly Story, playing until April 10, at the Music Theatre of CT in Norwalk.  First, is the dynamic performance of the actor/musician Spiff Wiegand in the lead role of Buddy Holly.  Wiegand is a bundle of kinetic energy as he plunges into one Holly classic after another.  Second, is the over two dozen songs, delivered with drive and vitality, mostly from the Buddy Holly catalog.


The overall production, however, is hurt by Alan Janes’ pedantic book that provides no real dramatic arc as it skims through Holly’s early years until his untimely death. Most of the featured characters are loosely drawn with little shading.  They just aren’t that interesting.


Whenever a scene becomes bogged down with light-hearted banter or corny sentimentality, the band – Buddy Holly and the Crickets – surges into such classics as “That’ll Be The Day,” “Maybe Baby,” “It’s So Easy To Fall In Love,” and “Peggy Sue Got Married.”


Kevin Connors uses all his directorial wiles as he attempts to propel the show forward outside the musical selections.  There are occasional glimmers of note but, for the most part, the audience only becomes animated once the trio of musicians makes harmonious magic.

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