Review: Buddy, Swansea Grand Theatre
Swansea Grand Theatre
It's hard not to imagine 'what if?' as the 25th anniversary of the musical Buddy reached its inevitable, tragic finale.
And maybe it's the benefit of hindsight that adds even more poignancy to the spectacled Texan's final, fateful gig as the unlikely rock'n'roll star, with friends in tow, plough through their repertoire for a final time.
For Buddy was not alone on that doomed flight, nor was he alone onstage during this recreation of his Winter Dance Party, and it is the lanky author of Peggy Sue's rockstar accomplices that truly help him set the Swansea stage alight.
While the first half very much sets the scene and tells the tale of how a determined young musician hits the giddy heights of global stardom, the second half descends into an out-and-out musical celebration as the cast combine into the ultimate super group at the Surf Ballroom.
Jason Blackwater plays a hugely charismatic Big Bopper, whose Chantilly Lace is a musical and comical highlight, while Will Pearce as Ritchie Valens received possibly the loudest cheer of the night for his hot-blooded, pelvis thrusting rendition of La Bamba.
But not to be outdone, Roger Rowley, outstanding as a Buddy Holly look-alike and sound-alike, had the final word with a greatest hits crescendo including smoothies like Raining In My Heart to the rabble-rousing encore of Oh Boy.
With performances this good, its safe to say that Buddy will still be going strong in another 25 years.