Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story: (AKA Buddy’s Back to Rock Ogunquit)

Ogunquit Playhouse
Jason Pendergast

Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story


The Ogunquit Playhouse ends its mammoth 81th year anniversary with the return of a fan favorite from last season.   Once again we are treated to a sentimental trip through the short but passionately vibrant life of one of Rock and Roll’s legend of the 50’s, Mr. Horn Rim Frames himself, Buddy Holly.  To add to this treat, the Playhouse was able to secure Kurt Jenkins, who shined in this role last season to guide us through Buddy’s sky rocket to the top adventures in music.     It still amazes me that in less than three years, this pioneer of Rock and Roll went from singing on a country station in Texas to being a national celebrity.  Even today, people love titles that this performer and his fellow Crickets gave us- the tales of “Peggy Sue”, “That will be the Day”, and “Johnny B. Goode” still ring true to our ears and cause a foot a tappin’ in the aisles.

            The cast is as passionate and energetic as the people they are portraying.  As mentioned above, we are lucky to have such a sensitive, natural performer as Kurt Jenkins in the lead role.   He simply is Buddy Holly- the moves, the music, the passion in everything he does.  His slightly nerdy charm is contagious.  (Any scene where he stands up for his beliefs really tugs at the emotions. My favorite is the scene where he stands up for wearing his signature eyeglasses- both touching and beautiful.  Here is a man who isn’t afraid to be himself or break down those social “norms” of his times-  singing in a black club in Harlem, marrying a Latina he has known for only a few hours, insisting on playing his music his way… the world was truly robbed a great talent and human being.) 

Kurt is joined by several actors, both veterans and newbies to Ogunquit who add to this show’s infectious charm.  The tenderness of his brief but genuine love affair with Maria Elana ( a returning Nikki Arnone) is a nice counter-balance to the craziness of Buddy’s career.  These two have a genuine, real world chemistry that gives me hope that spontaneous romance is still alive and well today.  Also back for the laughs is Sam Weber as Buddy’s hard drinking, acrobatic bass player.  (Just watch him balance that instrument- it was like a Cirque du Soleil act.   Jayson Elliot also returns as contemporary singer the Big Bopper (of “Chantilly Lace” fame).  Xavier Cano is also on board as the Latino version of Elvis “the pelvis” Presley, Richie Valens.

            For a singer who has been dead longer than I have been alive, Buddy still knows how to touch my heart and soul.  The ending, which is handled with both pathos and celebration, is truly a testament to the “Night the Music Dies” – and lives on in our dreams. 

            Buddy, the Buddy Holly Story is running now through October 20st at the Ogunquit Playhouse.  For tickets and showtimes, please check out Ogunquitplayhouse.org or call 207-646-5511 



Presented by:

Ogunquit Playhouse

Ogunquit Playhouse

10 Main Street
Ogunquit, ME 03907

Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story: (AKA Buddy’s Back to Rock Ogunquit)
The Ogunquit Playhouse ends its 81st anniversary with a return of its 2012 smash, Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story. This show gives the audience the chance to watch his quick and sadly brief rise to stardom, going from singing at his hometown’s radio station to recording songs and doing concerts all across America and England... Read Jason's review... Visit The Ogunquit Playhouse for more info. Tix are selling fast. Order on-line

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