The Buddy Holly Story playing in Chicago

June 29, 2018 GMT

The American Blues Theater recently announced an encore performance run of “Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story,” written by Alan Janes, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, with musical direction by ensemble member Michael Mahler.

“Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story” will open Friday and run through Sept. 15 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are on sale now. The original run was April 27-May 26.

Before the Beatles or the Rolling Stones ever played a note, rock ‘n’ roll was forever changed by the bespectacled kid from Texas, according to a news release from the American Blues Theater. “Buddy” tells the true story of Buddy Holly through his short yet spectacular career and features the classic songs “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace,” Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and many more.

“American Blues Theater is thrilled to present an encore run of our production of ‘Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story,’ our company’s best-selling musical to date,” said Gwendolyn Whiteside, artistic director. “We’re excited the cast will be back in our intimate space at Stage 773 through September. We couldn’t be happier with the outstanding reviews and audience reaction.”


Holly has long been regarded an American music icon in rock ’n’ roll circles. Regarded as one of the most significant figures in the birth of rock music, he often is cited as the innovator of the traditional rock lineup of instruments —two guitars, bass and drums.

Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Elton John all have named Holly as a major inspiration in their respective careers.

The encore cast of “Buddy” includes Elisa Carlson (company), Liz Chidester (Vi Petty), Ian Paul Custer (Hi Pockets), Ann Delaney (company), Vasily Deris (Big Bopper), Alex Goodrich (Clear Lake announcer), Derek Hasenstab (Norman Petty), Molly Hernandez (Maria Elena), Keirsten Hodgens (Apollo performer), Cisco Lopez (Ritchie Valens), Michael Mahler (Tommy-Cricket; music director), Kieran McCabe (Jerry-Cricket), Daniel Riley (Apollo performer), Zachary Stevenson (Buddy Holly), Denzel Tsopnang (Apollo performer) and Shaun Whitley (Joe-Cricket).

The creative team, made up of mostly American Blues Theater ensemble members, includes Sarah E. Ross (scenic design), Samantha C. Jones (costume design), Jared Gooding (lighting design), Rick Sims (sound design), Kevin Rolfs (properties), Malcolm Ruhl (music consultant) and Jon Martinez (assistant director and choreographer). The production stage manager is Cara Parrish.

American Blues Theater is a premier arts organization with an intimate environment that patrons, artists and all Chicagoans call home, according to the news release. American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves.