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Buddy Holly is ‘kindred spirit’ to actor portraying him at Palace Theatre

April 2, 2018

Michael Perrie Jr. says it is always an actor’s dream to work on a fun and fulfilling project and to be able to do what they love for a living.

Portraying Buddy Holly, as he does in the national touring show, “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” — stopping March 25 at the Palace Theatre, Greensburg — raises the bar for the actor/playwright/composer originally from Baltimore.

‘’It is special because I feel like he and I are kindred spirits and being able to channel his brilliant and driven soul every night is not only artistically satisfying, but personally satisfying to feel that sort of creative energy,” he explains. “He was a real, interesting, young man and I enjoy the heck out of it.”

He promises that audiences are in for a treat.

“You’ll experience the incredible story of Charles Hardin ‘Buddy’ Holly, as he develops his sound, and paves his way to an incredible and dedicated career,” Perrie says. “You’ll hear tons of his incredible music, performed live, and live through some of the most important moments in his career.”

He believes the show has been so enthusiastically received through the years because of the power of Holly’s music and his “incredible” rapid rise to fame at such a young age.

“The man was just as much the music, and his dedication to his sound and the art he created made him a genius that was stripped far too early from the world,” he adds.

It is not surprising to him that Holly’s music, recorded almost completely in 1957 and ’58, and his story remain relevant today.

“Good music, is just good. Ain’t two ways about it, it’s still relevant because his themes are timeless, and the songs are phenomenal,” Perrie says.

Holly hits

Buddy Holly was a recording artist for just two short years before dying in a 1958 plane crash, but his hits live on, including:

• “Peggy Sue”

• “Oh Boy’

• “That’ll Be the Day”

• “Words of Love”

• “Not Fade Away”

• “Everyday”

• “It’s So Easy”

Told in song

There is no narrator in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” The story is told through scenes and music. This is a show that is much more than the music.

“I think no artist can just be their art. Buddy’s music was incredible, influential and genre-altering, but just hearing his music means nothing if we don’t know there was a real human young man behind it,” he suggests. “He was a very driven, very funny, very interesting man, and without seeing the ups and downs he encounters you wouldn’t see that his music doesn’t tell the whole story.”

A musical celebration concludes the show, with a re-creation of his final concert in Clear Lake, Iowa, before the fatal crash that took the lives of Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.

“It’s done in a spectacular fashion with the entire cast, and you hear tons of great hits, and see some incredible performances by The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens,” Perrie says. “And there are some really lovely, funny, and heart-breaking scenes throughout the show that show the love and loss in his life.”

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.