“Not Fade Away: The Ultimate Buddy Holly Experience” comes to the Palace Danbury

June 19, 2017 GMT

Buddy Holly was a rising star when he died in a plane crash, along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (the Big Bopper). Don McLean refers to the tragedy in “American Pie,” as “the day the music died.”

But fortunately that music lives on, thanks in part to high energy performers such as Jared Mancuso, who created and stars in “Not Fade Away: The Ultimate Buddy Holly Experience.”

The show, featuring a live rockin’ band, comes to Danbury’s Palace Theatre on Saturday, June 24. Mancuso shared more via email.

Q: You’re a singer, dancer and actor who portrays Holly, who was 22 when he died in 1959. You look pretty young and 1959 was nearly 60 years ago, so how did you get into his music?

A: First of all, thank you for saying I look young! Haha. I grew up listening to great classic music. Buddy Holly was always on my radar. I finally got the chance to play him in Arizona in a production of “The Buddy Holly Story.” ...I had a realization that this music has a potential of, no pun intended, fading away... So I decided to create a show that made the music fresh again... People will see our show and feel as though they are hearing the songs for the first time. It’s a blast. And I am actually 31...

Q: What’s the show like?

A: The show is a rocked out party. We throw in some fun facts about the original stars, and do some cool medleys and mash-ups of songs that definitely take the audience by surprise. We’ve been performing the show for over a year now and audiences have been thrilled with what we’ve brought to the music. We play hits like “Peggy Sue,” “La Bamba” and “Chantilly Lace,” but we also throw in some other songs from the era... My personal favorite is “Everyday,” which we do my own original version of.

Q: I understand you’re from New Hope, Penn., and started tap classes at the age of 3. Then you got into music lessons and school plays, and earned a degree in theater performance at Marymount Manhattan College. So entertainment is your thing. Any new projects coming up?

A: I also am working on the planning end of a new festival called VintageVibe Festival, which will be in Palm Springs, Calif., this Oct. 20-22. Similar to what I’m doing in “Not Fade Away,” we’re celebrating the past by incorporating it with the present. We have some amazing bands playing, along with a huge vendor mall featuring vintage clothing, new designers, vinyl dealers, comics...

Q: Who should come to “Not Fade Away”?

A: This show is honestly for everyone. And I don’t even mean that in a “it’s rated G” sort of way. It’s family appropriate, but I think teenagers will come and realize how incredibly cool this music actually is, and the people who grew up with this music will experience it in a whole new way.

lkoonz@newstimes.com; Twitter: @LindaTKoonz