Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story

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Experience the true story of Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame, from “That’ll Be the Day” hitting the airwaves in 1957 to “The Day The Music Died” two years later. With over a dozen of Holly’s greatest hits brought to life by performers playing their own instruments, Buddy celebrates the legend who changed the face of Rock & Roll forever. Featuring Holly’s “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” and “Oh Boy,” plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.”

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story by Alan Janes plays November 3, 2021 - January 9, 2022 in FST's Gompertz Theatre. Subscribe and see Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story plus three more Mainstage shows for as little as $69!

Click here to view the online playbill.

Run Time: 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission

FOR YOUR SAFETY: As of September 26, 2021, FST, along with the major arts organizations of Sarasota, is requiring proof of a recent negative COVID test along with a valid ID for entry. If preferred, patrons may volunteer proof of vaccination as an alternative to testing. Masks are required for all, regardless of vaccination status except when actively eating or drinking during pre-show dining. For a full list of safety protocols to help you prepare for your trip to the theatre, click here. #SafeArtsSarasota


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Director | Jason Cannon 
Movement | Catherine Randazzo 
Tap Choreography | Danielle Erin Rhodes*
Music Director | Spiff Wiegand *
Scenic Design | Axis Studios 
Costume Design | Susan Angermann 
Lighting Design | Ben Rawson 
Sound Design | Thom Korp 
Stage Manager | Roy Johns *
Assistant Stage Manager | Sophie Antovel
Dance Captain | Monica Rodrigues


Buddy | Michael Perrie Jr. *
Joe, Music Director | Spiff Wiegand*
Jerry and Others | Ken Sandburg*
Maria Elena and Others | Monica Rodrigues
Vi Petty and Others | Katie Horner
The Big Bopper and Others | Jimmy Lewis
Marlena and Others | Jannie Jones*
Richie Valens and Others | Armando Gutierrez*
Hipockets and Others | Ryan Halsaver*
Tyrone and Others | Troy Valjean Rucker*

* Denotes member Actors’ Equity Association. The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Ken Sandberg (Jerry A. & Others) Ken Sandberg is delighted to be making his Florida Studio Theatre debut! Favorite stage credits include Pride and Prejudice (Greenbrier Valley Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra (KCRep), The Heart of Robin Hood and Twelfth Night (Door Shakespeare), The Three Musketeers, The Venetian Twins, Othello, and others over 5 seasons at Quintessence Theatre, and his solo show The Death of… which he has performed in several venues over the past few years.  Proud member of AEA.

ARMANDO GUTIERREZ (Ritchie Valens & Others) is so grateful to be making his Florida Studio Theatre debut. Off-Broadway he has appeared in Red Roses, Green Gold (Minetta Lane) and Wonderland: Alice’s Rock n Roll Adventure (Atlantic Theater Company). Regionally at the Cincinnati Playhouse on the Park, People’s Light Theater, John W. Engeman Theater, Penguin Rep, Forestburgh Playhouse and Chance Theater. His band, Saddlemen, is a Brooklyn-based trio with music available on all streaming platforms. IG: @saddlementheband

RYAN HALSAVER (Hipockets Duncan & Others) is thrilled to make his Florida Studio Theatre debut! Favorite stage credits include Once (Eamon) at Bucks County
Playhouse, Shakespeare in Love (Robin/Lady Capulet) at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Andrew Senior/John Calhoun) at SpeakEasy Stage Company. For more information, visit ryanhalsaver.com

JANNIE JONES (Marlena & Others) most recently received critical acclaim for a role she co-created in Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow at Capital Rep. She also revived the role at FST in 2019, where Ethel premiered in 2005. Broadway/Off-Broadway/1st National Tours: The Full Monty (U/S Georgie), Hair (Dionne) at Carre Theatre in Amsterdam, Mama I Want to Sing (Sis. Carrie), and Faith Journey (Traci). She was last seen in Sarasota in her role as Caroline in Caroline or Change at WBTT. Regional Theatre: Lena Younger in Raisin (WBTT), Guitar Girls (FST), Blue Suede Shoes (FST), and Gathering Blue, where she created the role of Annabella (Mt. Gretna Theatre).

JIMMY LEWIS (The Big Bopper & Others) is excited to be making his FST debut with Buddy. Other credits include: Disney on Classic Frozen in Concert Japanese Tour, Rapunzel’s Royal Table on the Disney Magic, The Producers (Theater by the Sea), Buddy, Spelling Bee, Annie, Forum, Chicago, Oklahoma (Highlands Playhouse). Jimmy also served as the Assistant Artistic Director for the 2021 season at the Highlands Playhouse.

MICHAEL PERRIE JR (Buddy Holly) Michael is an NYC-based Actor/Playwright/Composer originally from Baltimore, MD. National Tour: Million Dollar Quartet and Buddy. Favorite NYC/Regional credits include: Matilda (Mr. Wormwood), The Full Monty (Malcolm), Buddy (Buddy Holly), MDQ (Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Sam Phillips), The Music Man (Marcellus), Beauty & The Beast (Mons. D’Arque), One Man, Two Guvnors (Alan). Other projects: History’s The Food That Built America, and acclaimed podcasts; “Bite Sized Broadway” and “Spencer Robelen Presents.” www.michaelperriejr.com

Katie Horner (Vi Petty & Others) is excited to be spending the holidays with FST! Katie is an NYC- and Philadelphia-local actor, instrumentalist, composer, and music director. She just completed the first post-Covid national tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story as Mary Lou/Keys/Trumpet/Guitar. Regional: Dyanne (Million Dollar Quartet, Mill Mountain Theatre), Diana (Lend Me a Tenor, Resident Theatre Co.), Dorine (Tartuffe, Hedgerow Theatre), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, Upper Darby MainStage). IG: @katie.lady64.

MONICA RODRIGUES (Maria Elena & Others) Monica is a New York City-based actress excited to return to the stage in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story for the third time. Her notable credits include Deborah Chessler in Soul Harmony (Uptown Performing Arts Center), Maria Elena in Buddy Holly (Palace Theater NH), and Lulu in Cabaret (Winnipesaukee Playhouse). She spent most of the pandemic teaching young artists Musical Theater online and is ecstatic to be performing live again on the Florida Studio Theatre stage.

TROY VALJEAN RUCKER (Tyrone & Others) Off- Broadway: Romeo & Bernadette. Pre-Broadway: August Rush. Select Regional: Clybourne Park (Albert/Kevin), Angels
In America
(Belize), The Scottsboro Boys (Haywood), Shrek (Donkey), Oklahoma! (Ike Skidmore), Little Bunny Foo Foo. Actors Theatre Of Louisville, The Muny, Walnut Street Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Paramount Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Ogunquit PH, Maine State MT. National Tour: Jesus Christ Superstar. Europe: International Symphony Orchestra. Opera/Concerts: Carnegie Hall, NYC Opera, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Aretha Franklin & Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Onscreen: Film, Television, Commercials, Print, Web Series.

SPIFF WIEGAND (Joe M. & Music Director) was born in Northern Kentucky with two thumbs on his right hand and plays over 20 instruments. Jimmy Fallon and Brad Pitt have lip-synced to his yodeling and his accordion playing was featured on John Oliver. He was once a “mark” on What Would You Do? He did the right thing. He is an accomplished recording engineer, and is noted for one-manband performances of his own songs, in which he plays up to seven instruments at once. National Tour: War Horse (accordionist). New York: Red Roses, Green Gold (Minetta Lane), New York Animals by Steven Sater (Bedlam Theatre Company), Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre for a New Audience). Regional: Indecent (Palm Beach Dramaworks, Pittsburgh Public), Ring of Fire (Actors Playhouse Miami, Infinity Annapolis), Woody Sez (People’s Light, Houston Stages), Mark Twain’s River of Song (Milwaukee Repertory). You can find his videos on Youtube.

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Longboat Key Life  I  December 14, 2021  I Inside FST's Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story

Sarasota Herald-Tribune  I  November 1, 2021  I  FST actor discovers secret to becoming Buddy Holly on stage

BroadwayWorld  I October 8, 2021  I  Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story to open FST's 21-22 Winter Mainstage Series


Broadway World
"The audience [wants] the show the never end"
"Immense talent"

The Sarasota Observer
"All about the music"
"Great musicians"
"Vastly entertaining"

Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"A party"
"Makes the music sound alive"
"Fun to watch"
"The hits just keep coming"
"Gets audience members dancing in their seats and singing to old favorites"

Sarasota Magazine
"Rocks out"
"Captures the excitement of Holly's songwriting career"
"Performed with great energy and skill"

Talkin' Broadway
"Buddy is a big hit for Florida Studio Theatre"
"A lot of fun"
"Really exciting"

Total Theater
"Stands out"


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The Genesis of Rock & Roll

Buddy Holly Lives


View more about the FST production on the official "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" Webpage | READ MORE

Does love at first sight exist? Maria Elena, Buddy Holly's wife, sure thought so.  I  READ MORE

With the release of "That'll Be the Day," Buddy Holly was catapulted to fame. What happened while he was on top of the world?  I  READ MORE

Watch Buddy Holly and The Crickets perform "Peggy Sue" on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957  I  WATCH

What made Buddy Holly a trailblazer, paving the way for the like of The Beatles and other Rock & Roll musicians?  I  READ MORE 

Learn more about Buddy Holly's life and legacy on his hometown of Lubbock, Texas  I  READ MORE


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There are plenty of parking options available when you visit Florida Studio Theatre, including two adjacent parking lots and three nearby parking garages, plus on-street parking.

Watch the video below to find a convenient place to park while you enjoy the theatre.

Getting Here:

FST's Gompertz Theatre is located on the corner of First Street and Cocoanut Avenue inside FST's Hegner Theatre Wing. For GPS purposes, use the address of 1265 First Street, Sarasota, FL 34236. For a map of FST buildings and venues, please see below. For more information, please call the FST Box Office at 941.366.9000.

Handicap Drop Off:

For FST's Gompertz Theatre: Handicap drop off is at the corner of First Street and Cocoanut Avenue.

For those who require additional assistance or handicap parking/drop off, please see the map below. For any questions regarding handicap parking please call the FST Box Office at 941.366.9000.

Campus Parking Map