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Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story Extends Chicago Run At The Mercury Theater

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The smash hit musical, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is now playing through April 29, 2007 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. From his humble beginnings in Lubbock, Texas, to his meteoric rise to the top of the charts with "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue," to his tragic, untimely death on February 3, 1959, the life of rock 'n' roller Buddy Holly is truly the stuff of legends. Coming on the heels of what would have been Holly's 70th birthday and his 20th anniversary of his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, the smash hit musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story brings one of rock music's most enduring figures to life. Tickets are on sale now.

Holly's breathtaking performances are recreated by talented Chicago musician and singer Josh Solomon, a rising star who is currently working on pop/rock album "Missteps" with his band The Empty Pockets. Skokie native Solomon is very much like Holly, both onstage with his precise replication of Holly's voice, mannerisms and stage presence and personally with his rapid rise and success in the music industry. Solomon is also the artistic director of Chicago's One Theatre Company. Director Janet Louer raves about Solomon, "Josh truly brings Buddy Holly back to life. From his charm to his talent, he was born to play the role of Holly. He has a great future in music and he is definitely a star on the rise."

Buddy captures one of the legends of American musical history, a 1950s icon who reshaped the face of rock-and-roll. Buddy highlights the singer's skyrocketing fame, his enduring and controversial love for a young receptionist and the pursuit of a solo career after parting with his band, the Crickets. The musical also recreates two of Holly's unforgettable concerts: the first one is the Crickets appearance as the first ever white act to take the stage at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem; the musical culminates with a recreation of Holly's final performance at the Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa moments before his fatal plane crash, a tragedy that also claimed the lives of J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and Richie Valens.

Featuring timeless music including "Everyday," "Oh, Boy!," "It's So Easy," "That'll Be The Day" and "Rave On" among others, Buddy is a celebration of not only the music, but the man, who with a charming combination of innocence, determination and humor captured the attention of the world and made an indelible mark on the future of music. Reviewing the Chicago production of Buddy, the Chicago Sun-Times raved "(Solomon) wonderfully channels Holly and tirelessly drives this musical toward what should be many weeks of packed houses," while Chicago Tribune affirmed that Buddy "is a good party show."

Buddy, is directed and choreographed by former Broadway casting director and choreographer Janet Louer. Louer was choreographer for the national touring company of Buddy, originally staged at Pegasus Players, for which she won a Jeff Citation Award for Best Choreography in 1992. She also handled choreography for the national touring productions of The Secret Garden, Once on This Island, Barnum and Into the Woods.

Before coming to Chicago, Louer was one of the leading casting directors in New York City for Broadway shows, as well as film and television programs. She served a Chicago casting associate for Broadway productions including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, West Side Story, Chicago and others. Since relocating to Chicago, she has worked as a casting director and film and television agent. Louer recently cast the actors for the Ravinia production of Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone. She presently owns LTM Management, a talent agency where her keen eye for talent discovered clients as Tony Award Winner Heather Headley. She also is a talent coach for up and coming entertainers of all ages.

Josh Solomon is the Musical Supervisor. The design team includes Bob Knuth, original scenic design; Dan Cooke, scenic design; Jason Epperson, lighting design; Elizabeth Shaffer, costume design; AJ Tarzian, props design and Robert Gilmartin, sound design. Additional cast member include: Nate Bellon (Joe Mauldin), Julia Black (Etta James, Apollo/Clearlake Singer), Dawn Bless (Apollo/Clearlake Singer/Dancer), Desmin Borges (Richie Valens), Michael Dickson (Hipockets Duncan), Lisa Fernandez (Maria Elena Santiago), Ann Hagemann (Mom, Vi Petty), Alison Harvey (Hayrider, Clearlake Snowbird), Jennifer Knox (Shirley, Clearlake Snowbird), Scott McKay (Norm Petty, Clearlake Emcee), Krystal Metcalfe (Apollo/Clearlake Singer), Karen Marie Richardson (Apollo/Clearlake Singer/Dancer), Brian Rickel (KSTP DJ, Clearlake Sax), Daniel Rosenthal (Jerry Allison), Samantha Scanlon (Clearlake Snowbird), Erik Schroeder (DJ, Decca/Clearlake percussion), Riley Thomas (Hayrider, Apollo/Clearlake Pianist), James Turano (The Big Bopper), and Andrew Yearick (Hayrider, Tommy, Clearlake Guitarist). Tara Sullivan is the General Manager and Marc Johnson is Stage Manager.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story runs through Sunday, April 29 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago. The regular performance schedule is as follows: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 and 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $38.50 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances and $32.50 for performances on Thursday. Special $20 tickets are available on Thursdays only for seniors 65 or older and students with valid ID. Student rush tickets are also available. Tickets are available at the Mercury Theater box office at 773-325-1700, at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 312-559-1212 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

The Buddy Holly Story
Now - Sun., April 29
Mercury Theater
3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
773-325-1700

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