Oh boy! Memories & Buddy Holly

A young Craig Urbani as the title character in the 1993 touring production of The Buddy Holly Story. Urbani went on to star in the London West End production.


ONE of the most popular musicals to be staged in South Africa, the 1993 touring production of The Buddy Holly Story – which saw its star, Craig Urbani, go on to fill the role of Holly in the London West End production – is to be recalled and celebrated in a special YouTube streaming event from 6pm today (Saturday, May 9).

The event, Buddy ‘93 : Together Again, follows last Saturday’s Rent: Together Again and the previous week’s Hairspray: Together Again, presented by the &Scene Youtube channel. The channel’s Together Again series was introduced so that audiences and cast members alike can relive memories and celebrate hit South African stage musical successes. The initiative also raises funds for Theatre Benevolent Fund,

Buddy ‘93 : Together Again. taking place from 6pm today (May 9), will be hosted by Natasha van der Merwe and will see  South Africa’s Urbani reunite with other cast members from the original 1993 production: Alistair Izobell, Michael Richard, Paul Ditchfield, Alan Swerdlow and Leila Henriques.

Being actively involved in musical theatre over many years, as well as being part of the Buddy phenomenon, Bryan Hill will join them in studio to share fascinating insights and stories about the production that changed the face of musical theatre in South Africa as we know it.

The Buddy Holly Story chronicles the rise to fame of pop music icon, Buddy Holly, from his first performances with Buddy Holly and the Crickets to the tour that saw him die in the plane crash that also claimed the lives of J.P. Richardson (also known as The Big Bopper), Ritchie Valens and their pilot, Roger Peterson.

Craig Urbani and Paul Ditchfield in The Buddy Holly Story. They were in the original 1993 touring South African production.

Says producer and director of &Scene, Drew Bakker: “Every week on Together Again, we are so excited to help audiences relive incredible moments of South African theatre. Full of non-stop nostalgia and stories, these are by no means comprehensive but a chance to relive those very special nights.

Drew continues: “This is all to support a great cause: raising funds and awareness for the incredible work Theatre Benevolent Fund is doing for members of all facets of the entertainment community.”

Opening in 1993, The Buddy Holly Story was the first bio-musical seen in South Africa of its kind, and was a phenomenon not seen on our local shores previously. The show travelled South Africa, performing to packed houses for a further six years, audiences always wanting more, and set the trend for similar musicals to follow.

It’s also been a show that’s launched many an artist’s career both locally and internationally and is still one of the most requested shows to be re-staged, including that of Craig Urbani.

Says Craig; “I am so looking forward to the reunion of The Buddy Holly Story. I can’t wait to sing some Buddy songs, reunite with a few of the old cast members, enjoy good chats and share some amazing stories about what was an incredible production! A huge ‘Thank You’ to &Scene for creating this platform.”

Buddy ‘93 : Together Again will be streamed on &Scene’s FaceBook Live and YouTube Channels.

For direct viewing links, click onto www.andscene.live

The Theatre Benevolent Fund was established in 1962 and raises money for all those who have worked professionally in the entertainment industry and for whom the spotlight has faded, no matter how it has faded.

It receives no government grants and is run by volunteers from within the industry. The reunion is the first of many shows on the &Scene network in aid of the Theatre Benevolent Fund. For more information: http://tbfsa.co.za



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