Holly Go Lightly

Buddy Holly's recording career lasted less than two years. But in the brief period between his first hit, "That'll Be the Day," and his death in a plane crash in 1959, he became a music legend. "People don't understand how influential he was, how he really pioneered pop and rock," says Sean Cercone, artistic director in charge of Carousel Dinner Theater's production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, which opens tonight.

Holly was one of the first artists to produce his own records. He was also one of the first to experiment with overdubbing tracks in the studio. "He did all these amazing, innovative things in his short career," says Cercone. The musical, starring Pat McRoberts as the geeky-looking rocker, tells the story of how Holly emerged from small-town Texas to write and record classics like "It's So Easy" and "Peggy Sue." Along the way, he became one of the most influential performers of the 20th century and one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's first inductees. "It's inspiring," says Cercone, "the string of hits that he put together in such a short amount of time."
Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Starts: July 5. Continues through Sept. 12