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Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, FL

Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, FL

| Laura Bell Adams |

When Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in 1959, along with fellow stars Richie Valens and the Big Bopper, it was known as the “day the music died.”

Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story will be performed at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, FLOnly 22 at the time of his death, Holly already had become a pioneer of rock and roll.

Buddy, The BUDDY HOLLY Story, which premiered in London in 1989 and ran 14 years in the West End, tells of the years in which Buddy redefined the music industry. The upcoming Manatee Players’ production features over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits, including “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll be the Day,” “Oh Boy,” and “Raining in my Heart.” This show is sure to be a hit for all who attend.

Director Preston Boyd and Musical Director/Conductor Rick Bogner have assembled top-notch vocalists and a six-member onstage orchestra. Neither Preston Boyd nor Rick Bogner are strangers to our regional theater scene, entertaining audiences for more than 70 years combined.

Preston Boyd is directing Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, FLPreston who has directed more than 71 full-scale productions over the past 35 years began his involvement with the Manatee Players’ in 1980’s alongside his sons, Dorian and Colin. “It was only natural that my wife, Priscilla, and I became involved with the theatre when our sons showed a personal interest,” said Preston. “I took some directing classes in college and grad school, but didn’t really start directing plays until around 1989.”



A former Drama and Music teacher at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School (1990-2014) Preston started out as a music major, but realized soon he was getting cast in all the college productions as an actor. So, he decided to switch his major to Drama, and obtained a Master’s degree in Theatre Education. Preston joined Actors’ Equity Association in 1976 and worked professionally in several cites before moving to Florida in 1981.

Rick Bogner is the musical director/conductor for Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, FLLakewood Ranch resident and Retired Freedom Elementary Music Teacher, Rick Bogner obtained his BA in Music Education from Montclair State University in New Jersey. An expert in his field, Rick taught for a total of 38 years, 30 of which were here in Manatee County. Most recently Rick was the Musical Director/Conductor of Manatee Players’ “West Side Story.”

With a passion for not only theater but theater education Rick uses his teaching background to train up volunteer actors to professional quality. He believes musical theater provides all participants the opportunity to grow in every area of their lives.

Preston and Rick have worked together on other shows and both are sure to come up with some fresh and surprising ideas for this production. “We enjoy working together in ways that complement our respective visions. It looks like it will be a fun experience to work on this show. If it ain’t fun, it ain’t worth it,” said Preston.

Join us October 24 – November 10 as the cast and crew of Buddy, The BUDDY HOLLY Story take us back in time to relive the good old days.

Single tickets for Buddy, The BUDDY HOLLY Story are on sale now. To purchase tickets please visit our website or call the Box Office at 941-748-5875.

Save up to 12% off our single ticket prices by choosing to become a season subscriber  and you can enjoy the rest of the season while saving!

Manatee Performing Arts Center is located at 502 Third Ave. W. Bradenton, Fl 34205

Photos from Manatee Performing Arts Center



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