Buddy & Co. British Invasion


By Scott MacClelland

WHAT DO 1950s and ‘60s rock ‘n roll tribute-band audiences have in common with most classical music audiences? They’re all the same age.

Being generationally so positioned I find myself a familiar in both lands.

Buddy & Co., now playing at the Golden Bough Playhouse in Carmel, is yet another recycling of the transition from doo-wop to rock ‘n roll put up by Pacific Repertory Theatre. Staged as a ‘live’ radio show on “WPRT”, the cast of eleven took turns as Buddy Holly & Roy Orbison (Travis Poelle), Don McLean, Ritchie Valens & Donovan (Davitt Felder), Big Bopper (Scott Free), Little Richard, the ‘twisting’ Contours, Isley Brother & James Brown (Daniel Simpson), Jerry Lee Lewis (Marcus Amarosa), The Penguins & Frankie Valli (David Schulz), Leslie Gore, Peggy Lee & Dusty Springfield (Lydia Lyons), and Martha of the Vandellas & Tina Turner (Charmaigne Scott). With MC Scott McQuiston and Subtitled “British Invasion”, I could go on with the Beatles, the Animals, the Zombies and more, but I think you get the point.

From time to time, touring tribute-bands come to town. But PacRep director Stephen Moorer figures why not use the abundance of local talent to scoop up some of the action. Buddy Holly seems to be his launch-pad with each revival. Obviously it’s a successful formula. This run will last until September 4.

Ritchie Valens’ 1958 recording of La Bamba remains the huapango/zapateado’s biggest hit. Originally from Veracruz it probably dates back some 200 years. In addition to the vocalists mentioned above, Amorosa also plays keyboards, Don Dally picks a mean rock guitar, with Noah Reeves on bass and Schulz on drums. McQuiston invited audience members to dance in the aisles, and some of the more limber senior citizens did just that. (There were actually a few ‘youngsters’ in attendance, with their own kids.)

Caution: the amplified music gets pretty loud; the show is half again as long as the announced two hours.