Well, Buddy VII has now come and gone. And, oh, so quickly, too. I want to thank each and everyone who, once again, made this production so spectacular and also, all those who attended and made the performance electric with their enthusiasm.
Thank you (as pictured left to right) Bill, Caryn, Tom, Mark, Jeremy, Martin, Mat, Mark, Bob, Neil, Tim, Tom, Pattie, Henry, Sasha, Elena, Sibel, Ronaye, Heather, Mark, Alec, Joseph, Jeff, Geoff, Michael, Seana-Lee, Scott, Marlene, and Denay. An extraordinary team!
It is truly remarkable how the music Buddy created, in his short life, has lived on and given a creative life to so many artists around the world as we tell his story and learn through his journey a little about ourselves. I’ve made some of my closest friends, had the best collaborations and forged my fondest performance memories through Buddy.
I guess, in a strange way, I feel he’s become one my good friends. I’m eternally grateful for the journey he started and I’ve been traveling for the past 6 years. I’m happy to extend his life in my own way.
Published: November 01, 2011 12:00 PM
Updated: November 01, 2011 12:17 PM
The Capitol Theatre is thrilled to present the world’s most successful rock ‘n’ roll musical this coming Tuesday.
Peggy Sue, That’ll Be the Day, Not Fade Away, — the list of hit songs penned by Buddy Holly goes on and on. By his untimely death, the legend had already changed popular culture forever. Vibrant and celebratory, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story highlights the talent and passion that lives on in his music, thrilling audiences long after they dance out of the theatre.
In 1989, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story premiered in London’s West End and ran for 13 years. The UK tour of Buddy has run for over nine years and the show has enjoyed success playing Broadway and around the world. Buddy has now been seen by over 20 million people. Alan Janes was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Musical and internationally Buddy has received 13 nominations and awards.
“Red Robinson gave me a copy of an interview he did with Buddy Holly when he was in Vancouver in October 1957 for a concert, shortly after That’ll Be the Day had been released,” says Bill Millerd, director of Buddy and artistic managing director for the Arts Club remembers. “In the interview, Buddy is bashful and awkward with none of that self-awareness that we often hear from mega-stars — a working musician in love with music making.
The talented performers in our production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story exude that same quality.”
The show stars Zachary Stevenson with Jeff Bryant, Scott Carmichael, Marlene Ginader, Jeff Gladstone, Jeremy Holmes, Elena Juatco, Kieran Martin Murphy, Michael Scholar Jr., Milo Shandel, Denis Simpson, Sibel Thrasher, Alec Willows and Seana Lee Wood.
Charge by phone 250-352-6363 buy online capitoltheatre.bc.ca.
Via Surrey Now: One dead ringer for several dead singers
On stage at Surrey Arts Centre; Zachary Stevenson best known for becoming Buddy Holly in Arts Club’s hit musical about doomed rocker
By Adrian Chamberlain, Surrey Now
Zachary Stevenson plugs in again for Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, on stage at Surrey Arts Centre until Oct. 28.
Need help bringing a dead singing star to life?
Call Zachary Stevenson.
The actor-singer once starred in a show about protest singer Phil Ochs. He’s also portrayed country icon Hank Williams on stage.
But Stevenson is best known for becoming Buddy Holly.
“I’ve cornered the market as an actor, playing singers who have untimely deaths who wrote songs and played guitar,” said Stevenson with a smile.
For an interview, Stevenson wore the same prescription horn-rims he sports in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, which on Tuesday (Oct. 11) opened a two-week run at Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage.
Stevenson, who ordinarily plays acoustic guitar, straps on an electric to play the rocker who wrote “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day.” His uncanny imitation and persona of the doomed rocker landed him the plum role with the Arts Club Theatre Company production.
“I initially was approached to perform in the full musical in Ontario,” said the 29-year-old. “I researched him, the era and his music.”
Stevenson has spent hours pouring over the Internet, reading about the legendary singer and hearing his music.
“I was very meticulous in the smallest of details about Buddy Holly because I wanted to capture his essence,” he said.
“As far as looking like him, I wear glasses and have curly hair myself, so that helps.”
Last year, Stevenson was chosen as one of the Vancouver Sun’s “10 Rising Talents to Watch for in the Arts.” According to the Sun’s arts critic, Peter Birnie, the young singer has: ” … mastered a mimicry of some interesting singers, and it’s paid off.”
Birnie also went on to say this about his role in Buddy: “Zachary Stevenson nails the rock ‘n’ roll legend in a full-throttle tribute that fires on all cylinders.”
After performing Holly on stage in a half-dozen productions across Canada, the lanky actor/singer has mastered Holly’s vocal inflections.
“I really trained on his accent marks in the lyrics so I could get all the hiccups down-pat before the first show,” he added. “I polish my performance every time and it feels more and more natural. Now, I can step on stage and be Buddy.”
He went on to add that: “Although Buddy’s songs were simple, he didn’t follow the typical rock formula of the times. His music is timeless because of that rock ‘n’ roll spirit he portrayed. He had a lot of energy on stage.”
Stevenson said he never set out to mimic deceased music legends. While at the University of Victoria studying for a theatre degree, the budding performer developed a one-man show about Phil Ochs, an obscure American protest singer who committed suicide in 1976 at the age of 35.
Stevenson spent endless hours listening to Ochs albums in his father’s record collection.
“I’d sit in my house in Parksville and play the record and play along, trying to figure out his picking pattern,” he said.
Meanwhile, Stevenson said the hits that made Buddy Holly a household name get everyone in the audience up on their feet and dancing.
“Everybody also starts singing,” he said. “It is so much fun for me to see the audience get into the music as much as I do.
“Some of the younger audience has told me it’s the closest they’ll get to seeing Buddy Holly perform, and the older crowd tell me they get energized and they tell me they have great memories of that era.? As long as people keep wanting the music, I’ll keep performing it.”
Stevenson has found success playing his own music as well, with folk-pop duo The Human Statues. “I guess you can describe our music as influenced primarily by early pop like The Beatles, but with a modern twist,” he said. “We are often compared to the Barenaked Ladies … but we aren’t a novelty act.”
As for playing another deceased music legend, well, Stevenson certainly isn’t averse to the idea.
“People say ‘who’s next?’ And I say I don’t know. Jimi Hendrix? I don’t know if I can pull that one off.”