Leadership & Staff

BWW Review: BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY at Florida Repertory Theatre

Now playing in the Historic Arcade Theatre!


Directed by Florida Rep’s Associate Artistic Director, Jason Parrish, Florida Repertory Theatre’s production of BUDDY: THE Buddy Holly STORY tells the story of the iconic rock ‘n’ roll sensation, Buddy Holly, and how he changed the face of popular music sixty years ago.

Michael Perrie, Jr. plays Buddy Holly, and he is spectacular. He has incredible vocal talent and is a fantastic actor, truly bringing Buddy Holly back to life with his performance. Alongside Perrie, the cast includes Noah Berry as Jerry Allison/Drums, Matt Cusack as Joe B. Mauldin/Bass, Armando Gutierrez as Ritchie Valens & Others, Merritt David Janes as Hipockets, Big Bopper, & Others, Samantha Sayeh as Maria Elena & Others, Veronica Stern as Marlena & Others, and Garrick Vaughan as Tyrone & Others. This is a phenomenal, talented, fun cast. Each and every one of them have shining moments in this production, and I was thoroughly impressed how each cast member played multiple instruments throughout the show. Since many of them play multiple characters, I imagine it was a challenge to make them all distinct, but they all did a great job of doing so. They seem to be having a lot of fun with each other on stage, and that energy is infectious.

Alongside direction by Jason Parrish, the creative team includes Matt Cusack as the Musical Director, Bert Scott as the Set Designer, Amy Marie McCleary as the Choreographer, Stefanie Genda as the Costume Designer, Julie Duro as the Lighting Designer, Adam Trummel as the Sound Designer, Ruth E. Kramer as the Stage Manager, and Sarah Goshman as the Assistant Stage Manager.

This is such a lively show, featuring stunning costumes, a colorful stage, and many more details that bring the production together. Each creative team member did great work in making this production so wonderful.

Florida Rep says that BUDDY will have you “dancing in the aisles,” and correct they are. There is audience participation involved during a point in the show, and the whole audience is itching to get to their feet by that point. The show is full of well-known songs like “Everyday,” “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “La Bamba,” “Shout,” and more. Though it holds some bittersweet, serious moments throughout, the show has lots of energy and fun, and it is no surprise that audiences are loving it as much as I did.

Get your tickets before they sell out! BUDDY is playing now through April 24 at Florida Rep. For more information and to buy tickets, click here: https://www.floridarep.org/the-season/buddy-the-buddy-holly-story/