Who knew that Carmel wanted to dance so badly?
This is what I learned at the Buddy Holly Tribute Concert at the Golden Bough theater a couple of days ago. I also learned that this music never gets old and that there is, in fact, a black man in existence who cannot dance. Sorry if that sounds racist. It’s true, though.
This show was… fun. Plain and simple. Travis Poelle has his Buddy Holly impression down to an aw-shucks science, and he can really rock the yodel and the black-rimmed glasses. I was never that into the ol’ BH, but hearing Poelle’s renditions made me want to dig around on iTunes for some old hits. And Davitt Felder as both Ritchie Valens and Elvis was phenomenal. In all honesty, I’d have taken a full show of him and his wildly accurate impressions over the variety show any day (and I think this wish will come true somewhere in the 2011 season). Anyway, this guy was both hilarious and mesmerizing. His Elvis impression, especially, stole the show. I know I wasn’t around when Elvis was around, but I think I’ve seen enough footage of the guy to know how he moved and sounded and acted, and Felder WAS Elvis. Scott Free, who may as well have been Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family, was hilarious as the Big Bopper, even though I have absolutely no idea who that is. Whatever. He was great. David Schultz came out from behind his drum set and made up for his lack of stage presence with some hilarious jokes and great renditions of “Earth Angel” and “Book of Love.” Somewhere in the 1950s, the stars of the airwaves were beaming with pride.
My only problems were with Lydia Lyons and Daniel Simpson, who played all the lady parts and the black dude parts, respectively. It just seemed so… cost-effective. Lyons masked her so-so voice with a slinking swagger (and, okay, an awesome cover of “Fever”) but Simpson’s brilliant baritone was overpowered by his terrible, terrible dance moves. I’m talking Elaine Benes here. The man should not dance. It’s a shame, too, because he could hold a note for a looooooong time.
In any case, it’s a good time out. You see middle-aged white people dancing in the aisles (and in the case of music director Don Dally, shredding on the guitar) and you hear some good songs. Go see it while there’s still time!