By Wayne Harada
Manoa Valley Theatre will audition singers and musicians for “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” the theater’s major musical capping its 2012 season.
The award-winning show, celebrating Holly in his rock 'n' roll prime, opens June 27 at MVT. But because of a rigorous rehearsal schedule, early auditions will be at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 14 and 15). Performers 18 and older are eligible.
The challenge: to find actors who can provide their own musical accompaniment in the style and spirit of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, real-life rock-era artists who perished in a plane crash.
The show — a Hawaii premiere — focuses on the life of Holly and the events leading to that fatal plane crash. It was a hit on Broadway and in London.
The actor playing Buddy Holly must be able to play guitar live for the performances and project the defining Holly style (remember the horn-rimmed glasses and hits like "Peggy Sue" and "Everyday"?) in the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll.
The roles available:
Buddy Holly — Male 18-20s, tenor, plays guitar and sings (must accompany himself while singing), familiarity with the repertoire and vocal style of Buddy Holly necessary; leader and lead guitarist of The Crickets.
Joe B. Mauldin — Male, 18-20s, singing helpful, tenor preferred, bass guitarist of The Crickets.
Jerry Allison — Male, 18-20s, singing helpful, tenor preferred, drummer of The Crickets.
Tommy — Male, 20s-30s, singing helpful, tenor preferred, rhythm guitarist of The Crickets.
Hipockets Duncan - male, 20s-50s, radio DJ.
Maria Elena — Female, 18-20s, Buddy's wife.
“Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson — Male, mid 20s to early 30s, baritone, plays guitar and sings (must be able to accompany himself while singing), familiarity with the repertoire and vocal style of The Big Bopper necessary.
Norman Petty — Male, 30s-40s, manager, non-singer.
Ritchie Valens — Male, 18-20s, tenor, plays guitar and sings (must be able to accompany himself while singing), familiarity with the repertoire and vocal style of Valens necessary.
Vi Petty — Female, 20s-30s, Norman's wife, alto, plays keyboard.
Performers at The Apollo (2) - Black male or female, 20s to 50s, any vocal range.
Hayriders (multiple) — Musicians playing guitar, drums, bass, 4th country instrument (fiddle, steel guitar or banjo), at least two of whom sing; people from this group can also play Jack Daw and various backup musician roles.
Bree Bumatai will be guest-director, Keith Griffin is guest musical director, and Katherine L. Jones is guest choreographer.
Rehearsals being April 15, with performances June 27 to Aug. 11. Playdates are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays.
Scripts are available for perusal on MVT premises at 2833 East Manoa Road, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Information: 988-6131.